Lord Sharpe of Epsom, the Home Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL386):
Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the level of corruption, in particular money laundering, in the UK, and the scale of involvement of law firms, global corporations and banks in such crime; what steps they are taking to address corruption; and whether they support proposals to establish an international anti-corruption court. (HL386)
Tabled on: 20 November 2023
Lord Sharpe of Epsom:
There is widespread international agreement that reliably measuring the scale of corruption or corrupt proceeds presents a significant challenge. The National Crime Agency assesses that it is a realistic possibility that over £100 billion is laundered through and within the UK or UK registered corporate structures each year using high end money laundering methods, with cash-based money laundering highly likely to be over £12 billion each year. However, it is not currently possible to identify the proportion of these laundered amounts which involve corruption.
Despite challenges identifying overall scale, we have advanced our understanding of the nature of corruption and money laundering including the role of professional enablers.
The Economic Crime Plan (2023-26) sets out ambitious reforms to reduce money laundering and recover more criminal assets; combat kleptocracy and drive down sanctions evasion; and cut fraud. This is supported by the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 and will be complemented by a new UK Anti-Corruption Strategy, which is currently under development. This will outline the UK response to strengthen resilience against corruption in the UK and internationally and build on the progress made by the UK Anti-Corruption Strategy (2017-22).
This government is fully committed to ensuring that all corrupt actors are held to account, including those responsible for the most egregious acts of corruption. We have considered the idea of an International Anti-Corruption Court, including with 40 international partners in November last year, and have concluded that now is not the time to endorse a new, bespoke institution of this nature.
Date and time of answer: 05 Dec 2023 at 13:00.