HMRC set for new powers to combat money launderers

HM Revenue & Customs will be at the heart of a new drive to combat
money-laundering and the financing of terror.

The scheme, floated by the Treasury today, will hold bureaux de change and
thousands of other businesses specialising in cashing cheques, transmitting
money and converting currency to a tougher regulation policy.

A government survey released last year found approximately 45% of bureaux de
change and money transmitting businesses were not implementing laundering
controls properly.

As regulator of the money services businesses sector, HMRC’s new arsenal
includes a licensing system that will bar people with criminal records and other
unsuitables from operating in the industry.

It will also insist financial records are written in English to ensure
greater transparency for auditors investigating companies suspected of turning a
blind eye to criminal activity.

Ed Balls, economic secretary to the treasury, said: ‘The vast majority of
bureaux de change, cheque cashers and money remitters are honest. But the scale
of the challenge we now face demands we strengthen our current financial
controls so we can root out the money laundering and terrorist financing,’
reported the Financial Times.

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