UK, Five Eyes seek to work with private sector on beneficial ownership, illicit cash
31 Aug 2018

The United Kingdom and its key allies have entered into a fresh agreement to crackdown on illicit cash flows and corporate secrecy which will see their financial intelligence units step up their information sharing and aim to work more closely with the private sector.

The partnership was agreed upon this week by the UK alongside Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA in the annual Five Country Ministerial (FCM), a major meeting of the Five Eyes security partners.

Ministers from the five countries discussed a variety of topics regarding national security and agreed to boost cooperation to tackle various threats, including illicit finance and other serious organised crime.

“We agreed to support G20 and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) efforts to combat illicit finance by increasing the transparency of legal persons and arrangements, and enabling timely access to beneficial ownership information by law enforcement agencies,” a statement published at the end of the Five Eyes meeting said.

“We also agreed to encourage collaboration between ‘five eyes’ financial intelligence units to enhance the sharing of intelligence and experience. And we agreed to work closely with the private sector to promote the adequate and accurate collection of beneficial ownership information.”

The emphasis on working more closely with the private sector comes at a time when the UK is stepping up efforts to collaborate with banks to address issues such as money laundering.

In recent years it has formed the Joint Intelligence Money Laundering Taskforce, a partnership between the National Crime Agency and over 40 banks, aimed at combating high-end money laundering

It also formed the Joint Fraud Taskforce, a partnership with the Home Office, agencies and banks aimed at tackling fraud.

Speaking at the end of the Five Eyes meeting, British Home Secretary Savid Javid said: “Our ongoing cooperation and the commitments made at the summit will ensure we have the strongest approach possible when it comes to combating those who seek to undermine our national security.”

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