Budget 2020: Economic Crime Levy needs to be risk-based – comment

It has been heavily trailed that the Chancellor will announce a new Economic Crime Levy later today. John Dobson, CEO of AML specialist SmartSearch, says: “The Government is right to want to step up the fight against money-laundering but firms covered by any new levy are entitled to ask what it will pay for. The Government needs to explain why additional resources are needed and how they will have an impact on financial crime.

“When the Treasury consulted last year on the latest money-laundering regulations, it specifically asked what more the Government could do to promote the uptake of electronic ID verification, and acknowledged that this could in fact reduce the costs associated with compliance. Incentivising the use of technology to combat the increasingly sophisticated criminal methods being used, would be a good place to start.

“Any new levy should be risk-based, on a sector-by-sector and firm-by-firm basis. Businesses already using reliable, modern AML solutions should not be asked to pay more because others stick with outdated processes that are not up to the job.”