Clause 21 - Economic crime (anti-money laundering) levy

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:15 am ar 21 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Gareth Davies Gareth Davies The Exchequer Secretary 10:15, 21 Mai 2024

I am grateful for the comments from Opposition Members. I think we all agree that we want to tackle these issues in the most serious way possible, with the most force. I am comforted by the comments from the Financial Action Task Force, which previously said that the UK has one of the strongest regimes when it comes to tackling economic crime. The levy specifically seeks to fund the tackling of anti-money laundering rather than fraud or sanctions, which I will come on to in a second.

It is appropriate to stress that the levy is a targeted measure on the anti-money laundering regulated sector, therefore the proceeds go towards tackling anti-money laundering. That is in the context of the economic crime plan 2, which covers up to 2026 and is backed by £200 million from the levy plus £200 million of Government investment. We are taking broader action on fraud in the technology sector specifically, not least through the online fraud charter, the Online Safety Act 2023 and the telecommunications fraud sector charter.

The hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey mentioned sanctions evasion. We are cracking down on kleptocracy and sanctions evasion through the economic crime plan 2. The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation actively monitors sanctions evasion every single day.

On corruption, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office leads our efforts to support companies to tackle corruption and strengthen governance across the world. The Government are actively working with partners across the world to strengthen international standards, not least through the UN convention against corruption. In the UK, we also have the National Crime Agency’s international corruption unit. There is significant action to tackle fraud and corruption as well as sanctions evasion, but of course we can always do more and we are vigilant about that.

On the reporting and transparency of the levy, there was a reasonable question from the hon. Member for Hampstead and Kilburn and from the sector. There will be a report on the levy this year and it will be reviewed in 2027. We will engage with stakeholders leading up to that review.