PracticeAccounting FirmsBlunkett’s plans threaten client confidentiality

Blunkett's plans threaten client confidentiality

Plans by home secretary David Blunkett to make the UK 'one of the most difficult environments in the world' for organised crime, could see accountants forced to disclose confidential client information.

Link: NCIS flooded by accountant reports

A white paper, titled: One Step Ahead: A 21st Century Strategy to Defeat Organised Criminals , will see the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) set up, bringing together the responsibilities of the National Criminal Intelligence Service, the National Crime Squad, and sections of the Immigration Service and Customs and Excise.

It is expected to suggest that accountants and other advisers such as bankers and lawyers – normally bound by confidentiality rules – will be forced disclose information about clients that may be involved in organised crime, or face jail themselves.

This will place even more pressure on the profession already reeling from requirements in the Proceeds of Crime Act which force accountants to report any suspicious activities to NCIS or face the threat of prosecution.

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