City Firms Feel Rising Heat Of Economic Crime Enforcement

Apr 03, 2017

Steven Baker comments in Law360 on the recent spate of activity from UK enforcement agencies, coming as the Criminal Finances Bill nears the end of the legislative process, and how firms need to think about combatting economic crime.

An excerpt from “City Firms Feel Rising Heat Of Economic Crime Enforcement,” April 3, 2017:

“Corporates have never faced greater regulation and associated compliance requirements,” said Steven Baker, partner at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP. “The effectiveness of a company’s compliance regime heavily depends on the company’s culture and associated appetite to be a champion of compliance.”

The Criminal Finances Bill underwent penultimate revisions in the upper house of Parliament on Monday, and is being fast-tracked into law. It gives authorities a greater range of powers to seize assets, punishes those in the chain of economic crime, targets overseas corruption and creates corporate offenses for cases facilitating tax evasion.

“Once enacted, corporates, particularly in the finance and professional services sectors, will be subject to new money laundering and tax evasion offenses that will also affect corporate compliance requirements,” Baker said. “We can expect to see more activity in this area against financial firms especially as the U.K.’s financial crime legislative regime develops.,”

The [Serious Fraud Office] has approximately 60 investigations on its books at the moment, and it is also assisting the DOJ, and the FCA, with obtaining compensation from a listed company for market abuse. Multiple regulatory agencies combining to investigate on domestic and cross-border wrongdoing must be seen as the “new normal,” said Baker.

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