Press release 04th Dec 2019

Urgent clamp down needed on rogue company formation agents

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4 December, London – In response to an investigation by The Times which revealed the alleged role of a UK-based company formation agent in setting up and managing firms linked to scams involving more than £300million, Duncan Hames, Director of Policy at Transparency International UK, said:

“Offering easy-to-form companies with a veneer of legitimacy is an attractive proposition for criminals seeking to evade scrutiny. It is no surprise therefore that UK firms are regularly revealed to be embroiled in major corruption and money laundering scandals. Until there are tighter controls on company formation, their continued involvement in suspected financial crime poses a significant risk to the UK’s status as a safe and respectable place to do business.”

“Our research identifies unscrupulous formation agents as a major money laundering risk that deserves much closer scrutiny. Selling shell companies with false accounts is conduct that can result in criminal prosecution, yet little action appears to be taken by the regulators. The authorities need to clamp down on this rogue behaviour urgently if there is any hope of tackling the UK’s £100billion a year dirty money problem.”

 

Contact:

Harvey Gavin

harvey.gavin@transparency.org.uk

+44 (0)20 3096 7695

++44 (0)79 6456 0340