28 April 2017

So Not a Surprise

This is no surprise. The British financial system is arguably the 2nd most invested in money laundering of any in the world (after Luxembourg). Any meaningful crackdown on money laundering would blow a big hole in the City of London's balance sheet:
So near and yet so far…

Hopes were riding high yesterday that UK parliamentarians might seize the opportunity to take historic action to end decades of financial secrecy in the UK’s Overseas Territories. We blogged about this yesterday highlighting the fact that a lot of ongoing Parliamentary business was at risk of being shelved because of the sudden general election called by British Prime Minister Theresa May. There’s a phenomenon known as the wash-up period which “refers to the last few days of a Parliament before dissolution. Any unfinished business is lost at dissolution and the Government may need the co-operation of the Opposition in passing legislation that is still in progress.”

An amendment was tabled for the Criminal Finances Bill some months back which would have obliged the UK’s Overseas Territories (including such secrecy havens as Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands and the Caymans) to create fully public registers of the beneficial ownership of companies. As we asked yesterday in our blog, will the UK parliament step up to the mark? Unfortunately, today we have the answer. No. Defeat has been snatched from the jaws of victory.
This is not a surprise.

There is corruption at the core of big finance, and the British financial industry is rather more corrupt than most, and they have been paying protection money to the political establishment for years.

Changing this will require coordinated and intense political activity over a period of years.


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