The UK Government has today issued Economic Crime Plan 2 for 2023-2026.

The three year plan announced a wide range of important measures to tackle the UK’s economic crime problem and commits the Government to:

  • Reducing money laundering and recovering more criminal assets
  • Combatting kleptocracy and driving down sanctions evasion
  • Cutting fraud.

The keys ideas in the plan for the Government to deliver the above commitments are:

  • 475 new financial investigators dedicated to tacking money laundering and asset recovery
  • A new 'Crypto Cell' combining law enforcement agencies and regulators to pool expertise and enforcement tools to tackle criminal abuse of cryptoassets
  • An expanded 'Combatting Kleptocracy Cell'
  • A new approach to public-private prioritisation to prevent, detect and disrupt economic crime 
  • Ambitious reform of the UK's supervisory regime and encouraging greater information and intelligence sharing 
  • New state of the art technology so as to give law enforcement agencies the intelligence they need.

The plan is much welcomed. Economic crime costs the UK around £350 billion. The UK currently spends the equivalent of just 0.042% of GDP on funding national law enforcement agencies to tackle economic crime. However, a deep dive reveals that there is no new Government investment in economic crime being announced with the launch of the new plan. 

As always, such plans will only be effective with the necessary funding and resourcing.