An urgent question asked in the House of Commons on 21 March asked the Chancellor to comment on allegations of money laundering against British banks. Simon Kirby, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, took the question, and said FCA and the NCA would be investigating closely whether recent media reports of money laundering from Russia would require further investigation. He commented that the UK does all it can to prevent money laundering, but that there must be a global effort to detect and deter launderers. The questioner accused the Government of complacency, and another MP focussed on the use by banks of limited partnerships, saying this allows criminals to hide their ownership of companies. Simon Kirby explained about the new measures, including unexplained wealth orders, which the Criminal Finances Bill seeks to introduce. He also noted the step forwards that the PSC register presents. He countered questions over what the Government would do should banks in which it has a stake be found to have been implicated in money laundering, to which he replied the government is not operationally in control of those banks and nor should it be.
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