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.
Well formulated, as always Sue! Now it is again time for the electorate to set the stage in the UK.. faites votre jeu! I hope the false claims and lies that lead to the initial referendum results (as disingenuously intended by internal and external actors…should have come to light by now).
The EU is not impeccable, but it is still the strongest force and united front as example for regional peace and fight against inequality, being also a unified voice against increased hatred, aggression and land grab advocates (“devide et impera” that is all to be said about those intentions).
How is the “international AML” version doing? With all the evident AML violations and outright corruptions / special interest bribes on the rise in politics and in the cooperate world on an international scale, it is all the more required to have loud advocates and a voice to the contrary.
Thank you for your comment, Robert, and welcome to the blog. You’re preaching to the converted: I am with EU all the way! With China, Russia and the US all rattling their sabres with varying degrees of unpredictability, now is certainly not the time for the UK to leave the safety of the group and go it alone. I can hardly bear to think about the result next week… And sales of the international piggy are slow but steady, thank you for asking! Best wishes from Susan
Oh, the irony of the “Red Tape challenge” with its repetition of the “bureaucracy” swipe at the EU our PM has been disseminating for years in his dodgy articles. Even though the UK chose to vote against EU laws on 2% of occasions (almost aimed at tax avoidance/money laundering). Meanwhile the Tory Brexit project has trodden all over the needs of small businesses and inevitably created more bureaucracy, simply by ignoring what import/export processes are needed if you dis-align yourself from the massive trading bloc and its rules which have for so long shielded us from all that.
Meanwhile, closer to home for those wondering what on earth the government will have us do about AML rules in January, it’s the Tory party who have ensured we have no clue. Thanks to their shenanigans, the Treasury have been prevented from coming out with their technical consultation intended for publication after the summer, which would have given us a big clue. In the insurance industry’s case – trusts of life policies without investment element: in or out of registration or partly sheltered? If no exemption, it will be completely bonkers and a massively useless tangle of red tape which is not required by the related EU Directive, but by the UK Treasury while under the direction of a Tory government.
We hear you, Ruth! From an AML perspective, the EU has been the voice of reason for decades – or at least a level-headed attempt to get most of it right, most of the time. One of the main benefits of the system of EU legislation is that, with 28 (27…) parties to the discussions, nothing is pulled too far in a wacky direction. And the recent months of chaos have prevented so much information being published – information to which we, as citizens and voters – are entitled (and for which, as taxpayers, we have paid!). Grrrrrr…..