Thank goodness it’s nearly over: I don’t think I can take much more politicking this year. Regular readers will know that I loathe, detest and despair at the idea of our leaving the EU and I have voted (postally) accordingly. But it is perhaps wise to look at the manifestos published by the three main parties here in the UK, as we rush towards a general election on 12 December, to see what they have said on AML issues. (Actually, they have said nothing at all about AML – but they have said stuff about financial services and about law and order, so that will have to do to give us an idea of the direction of travel.) I’ll present them in alphabetical order, in case you’re wondering.
With regard to financial services:
- the Conservative Party manifesto does not mention financial services specifically, but they do say that “through our Red Tape Challenge, we will ensure that regulation is sensible and proportionate, and that we always consider the needs of small businesses when devising new rules, using our new freedom after Brexit to ensure that British rules work for British companies”
- the Labour Party manifesto says that they will “create a National Investment Bank, backed up by a network of Regional Development Banks, to provide £250 billion of lending for enterprise, infrastructure and innovation over 10 years”
- the manifesto for the Liberal Democrats promises that they will “take tough action against corporate tax evasion and avoidance especially by international tech giants and large monopolies” (by reforming “place of establishment rules” and ensuring tax bills are more closely related to the sales companies make in the UK), “work with the major banks to fund the creation of a local banking sector dedicated to meeting the needs of local small and medium-sized businesses”, and “expand the British Business Bank to perform a more central role in the economy, to ensure that viable small and medium-sized businesses have access to capital, even when the rest of the commercial banking system can’t provide it”.
And with regard to (AML-ish) law and order:
- the Conservative manifesto promises “a new national cybercrime force [and] a world-class National Crime Laboratory”
- the Labour manifesto promises “a fund of £20 million to support the survivors of modern slavery, people trafficking and domestic violence”
- the LibDem manifesto promises “a new Online Crime Agency to effectively tackle illegal content and activity online”.
So that’s the runners and riders, with eight days to go – place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.