No wonder that kleptocrats continue to wash dirty money in the UK – Comment on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee’s ‘damning report’

Following the news today of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee’s damning report on the UK’s continuing failure to tackle Russian kleptocrats laundering dirty money through the UK, Martin Cheek, managing director at SmartSearch, said: “Dirty money continues to flow into the UK because too many regulated firms persist in using inadequate, legacy and manual processes to check the identity of new customers.

“Our recent survey of 500 regulated firms in the property, finance and legal sectors showed that 70 per cent of property companies, 47 of legal firms and 34 per cent of financial firms had not changed their approach to onboarding new customers since sanctions were imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.

“It’s no wonder that criminals and kleptocrats are taking advantage of these loopholes to wash their money in the UK.

“Electronic verification is the most robust way to identify bad actors, prevent sanction avoidance and to keep this dirty cash out of the UK economy.”