Our increasingly digital economy is well-supported by the emerging payments sector, which facilitates fast and efficient payment transactions between consumers, businesses and banks.
The pandemic accelerated many changes; new health and social programs were rolled out to help alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 and public sector agencies and banks supported the distribution of benefits through newly forged digital programs. Financial firms responded to demand by offering new products through new digital channels. These new programs and channels have caused changes to purchasing and banking habits so that criminals – always ready to exploit new opportunities - are able to abuse new vulnerable targets and loopholes. The favoured vehicle for criminals to achieve fraud and launder money is the limited liability company.
The latest Treasury Select Committee on Economic Crime published their report on February 2nd 2022 and said "Reform of Companies House is essential if UK companies are no longer to be used to launder money and conduct economic crime. We welcome the work being done by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and by Companies House to modernise the legal framework and operations of Companies House. However, the pace of change is slow. The problems with UK company structures were identified by the Government in 2014."
Also in February, the government published a White paper on Corporate Transparency and Register Reform which set out ambitious plans to reform Companies House but with no set timetable included. We are expecting the Queen's speech on May 10th to include reference to a second Economic Crime bill which should include the proposed reform of Companies House.
In this session we will use the Companies House website to show how criminals can use the flaws in the current incorporation system to create "fake" companies which can then be used to open bank accounts and access and abuse other financial services.
Join Graham Barrow and Ray Blake of the Dark Money files to learn how corporate status is exploited by criminals and the human intervention and technology which can make a difference in preventing this abuse. Plus, you will have the chance to ask your questions live!