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Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 8629, tabled on 27 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of recent comments by the President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, urging the UK Government to take action on the flow of money to autocratic regimes via the UK.

Answered on

10 June 2021

The Government has long recognised the corrosive risks of dirty money, including from Russia, being laundered in the UK. In December 2020, the Government published the UK's third National Risk Assessment of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, which presents a comprehensive understanding of the risk of money laundering, and the financing of terrorism through the UK. This assessment informs the UK's response to these threats, including through our foreign and development policy.

Tackling illicit finance is central to the FCDO's mission to support Open Societies, and to act as a force for good in the world. The Foreign Secretary recently launched the UK's first sanctions under our new global anti-corruption sanctions regime, which imposes asset freezes and travel bans that stop those involved in serious corruption from entering, and channelling money through the UK. We were already the first country in the G20 to establish a public register of the beneficial owners of firms so that secretive shell companies could not be used to hide the real owners of assets and companies. In 2018, the Financial Action Task Force found that the UK had one of the strongest systems for combatting money laundering, and terrorist financing globally. On top of this, our new Global Anti-Corruption sanctions regime will immediately act as a further deterrent, ensuring that Britain is not a safe haven for illicit funds.