The Government has responded to the Treasury Committee’s report on economic crime. Nicky Morgan, commenting on the Government response, said she was glad that some Committee recommendations had been taken into account, particularly on the reforms needed at Companies House. She was less pleased, though, that the Government is not following up on the suggestion for a PEPs register. Firms, especially smaller firms, lack the resource to identify all PEPs and the absence of a register is making their work a lot harder. The Government said that creating a register of PEPs would mean firms would not properly apply the right levels of risk assessment.
Other notable features of the Government response included:
- noting HMRC’s work to root out unregisters, unsupervised agents and its updated guidance for estate agents on AML, and generally noting HMRC’s efforts to up its game on supervision;
- its commitment to the reform of the SARs regime;
- some placatory words about the need to address the effects of derisking;
- a promise to consider whether it would be appropriate to have power to block a listing on national security grounds; and
- the intention to form stronger links with non-EU jurisdictions on sanctions matters.
The Government still needs to address certain other recommendations, such as the corporate criminal liability framework.