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Prime Minister Must Focus on UK’s Role in Corruption

PM is right to take the lead on global corruption but needs to focus also at home


10th June 2015, London – Transparency International welcomes the speech of Prime Minister David Cameron in the House of Commons today following the G7 Summit in Elmau. The PM’s pledge to take a lead on global corruption is important but more must now be done to ensure our own house is in order, by aiming to eradicate corruption in the UK.

In a statement, Dr Robert Barrington Transparency International UK’s Executive Director said:

“The Prime Minister has taken a bold step on global corruption but his ability to take an active lead will be determined by the strength of his performance domestically – within the UK, and in the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories.”

“His government must ensure that the world’s leading financial centre is not a centre of global money laundering or provider of services to the world’s corrupt elite – whether in property, corruption-resources-corruption-resources-education or sport.”

“The FIFA corruption scandal demonstrates the danger of turning a blind eye, but also that the UK and other law enforcement capability need to be fit for purpose.  Corrupt individuals and institutions should no longer be allowed to continue stealing with impunity.”

In a new paper “Empowering the UK to Recover Corrupt Assets” published this morning, Transparency International UK highlighted the full extent of the difficulties faced by the UK’s law enforcement agencies in trying to prevent corrupt wealth being laundered through the UK. The paper found that the current system is not fit for purpose, meaning that just 7 reports of suspicious financial transactions, identified as possibly linked to international corruption, were acted on by the UK in 2014.

TI-UK’s research suggests the system needs an overhaul, including more resources, and that the government should consider new mechanisms used already by other countries such as Unexplained Wealth Orders.

Media Contact/ Interview Requests:
Dominic Kavakeb
E: dominic.kavakeb@transparency.org.uk
T: + 44 (0)20 7922 7962
M: +44 (0)79 6456 0340 (out of hours enquiries)

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