Financial crime has a total cost to the UK economy of £52bn, according to Special Inspector James Phipson, Commercial Director of the Economic Crime Directorate, at City of London Police.
Speaking at a financial crime conference in London, SI Phipson claimed that just 12% of all financial crimes are ever actually reported.
Even though police forces across the country spent 34% more of their time in 2015 than previously on investigating fraud, they were still only inspecting a small number of the total estimate, Phipson claimed.
SI Phipson stated that with the UK considered the financial capital of Europe, it makes an appealing target and decision makers need to be more alert to the seriousness of this threat. Surprisingly most fraud attacks are likely to come from Spain, this unexpected epicentre indicates that much more understanding of the considerable threat to the economy is required.
David Little, Head of Money Laundering and Corruption Threat Desk at the National Crime Agency (NCA), was quick to point out that the economic threat was a very serious issue with regards to national security, “yet only recently it has started to be taken seriously".
The NCA has set up a Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce (JMLIT), headed up by Chris Bostock. JMLIT is there to share intelligence between the police and financial services institutions, with both sides bringing their expertise to the table to combat the threat of financial crime.
Large players from the banking sector have already joined the programme, with Chris stating that he wanted WMA members to get involved to share their unique expertise that comes with managing over £670bn of the UK’s wealth, which WMA are progressing with member firms.