Corruption and the UK TOPICS

OVERVIEW Money & Politics Dirty Money Public Sector Integrity

 

 

The UK is a hub for dirty money from around the world.

This money is obtained from criminal activity like:

  • bribery
  • theft of state funds
  • misuse of public office

It is acquired with the aid of companies incorporated in the UK and in its offshore financial centres.

It is invested into luxury UK property, and used to buy access to prestigious institutions and privileged lifestyles.

The scale of dirty money entering the UK is unknown, but experts estimate it is likely to be in excess of tens of billions of pounds annually.

No one to help

At the centre of the UK’s problem are professionals who help corrupt people launder their money and reputations. This reaches beyond just banks, lawyers and accountants. It touches institutions like schools, universities, charities and even our Parliament. These organisations may unwittingly provide a veneer of legitimacy to those who have stolen from their people.

Nowhere to hide

Anonymous companies, where the true owner is hidden, make it difficult for the police and others to detect the origins of their illicit wealth. The UK is failing to prevent companies registered here being used by money launderers. The secrecy afforded by UK companies - and those registered in the UK’s offshore financial centres - is facilitating economic crime on a global scale. 

No impunity

The UK has become a safe haven for corrupt individuals and their assets. Sectors such as property provide fertile ground to bury suspicious wealth. Our investigations have identified billions of pounds of suspicious assets in the UK, yet a limited amount is seized and returned by the authorities.

Transparency International UK is working to end the role of the UK as a safe haven for corruption, through conducting investigations, robust research and targeted advocacy.