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Mayor of London inquiry into London property ownership welcomed

“Positive step in ending UK’s role as a safe haven for corrupt money”

29th September 2016, LondonTransparency International UK (TI-UK) warmly welcomes the announcement today, by the Mayor of London, that he will conduct “the most thorough research” into foreign ownership of London.

The Mayor of London is quoted in the Guardian as saying “We urgently need more transparency around overseas money invested in London property. Londoners need reassuring that dirty money isn’t flooding into our property market, and ministers must now make all property ownership in London transparent so we can see exactly who owns what.”

Research published by Transparency International UK in 2015 found that over 40,000 properties in London are owned by foreign companies, and 9/10 of these are based in offshore secrecy jurisdictions. The last Government announced that by 2018 all foreign companies purchasing property in London will have to disclose their true owner.

It also found £180m+ worth of property in UK has been brought under criminal investigation as the suspected proceeds of corruption since 2004, just the “tip of the iceberg” according to law enforcement agencies.

Duncan Hames, Director of Policy at Transparency International UK, said:

 “This announcement from the Mayor builds on the work we have been doing in addressing the role of the London property market as a safe haven for corrupt money from overseas, and the impact this has on the housing crisis in London.”

 “For many years this issue was largely ignored, until strong commitments were made by the previous Government following the London Anti-Corruption Summit. However London, particularly its property market, is still seen by the global corrupt as a safety deposit box for their ill-gotten gains.”

 “We welcome this inquiry by the Mayor.  Let London be open to the world, but our door must be slammed shut to proceeds of corruption.”

***ENDS***

Contact:
Dominic Kavakeb
Dominic.kavakeb@transparency.org.uk
020 3096 7695 / 079 6456 0340

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Read 146 times Last modified on Thursday, 29 September 2016 16:40

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