The UK government is failing to match its rhetoric with real efforts to crack down on dirty money, MPs have warned.
The government is continuing to let the UK become a “safe deposit box” for morally bankrupt billionaires, despite its rhetoric around “clamping down” on Russian money, the Foreign Affairs Committee said.
The committee said the government is failing to match its rhetoric due to a “lack of willingness” to bring forward legislation.
Committee chair Tom Tugendhadt MP said “successive Governments have allowed malign actors and kleptocrats to wash their dirty money in the London ‘laundromat’” as he called on the government to “close the loopholes that allow for such rife exploitation.”
Tugendhadt said “complacency” has left the door open to corrupt wealth, as he argued that “dirty money brings corruption to our homes and turns our institutions against us”.
The committee chair said that while it shameful on the Ukraine war was able to “galvanize” the government, it is now time for the UK to work closely with allies to ensure “dirty money has nowhere to hide.”
The MP said current legislation does not go far enough, as he also warned that the UK’s enforcement agencies are in desperate need of “funding, resources and highly-specialised staff in order to do their job effectively.”
The report warns that without sufficient resources, the UK’s enforcement agencies are toothless, as it calls for “substantial” investment in the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and National Crime Agency (NCA).
The paper also says the UK should review its “Golden Visa” programme as it suggests the Tier 1 visa scheme allows wealthy investors to purchase access to Britain.