The Ukraine crisis has attracted a sharp focus on the extent to which ‘dirty’ Russian money pervades the world’s financial centres. Now, after many years of delaying, countries are rushing to boost transparency mechanisms that will help crack down on this illicit wealth.
The UK rapidly re-introduced its shelved Economic Crime Bill in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The legislation, which received royal assent on 14 March, will establish a new register listing the ultimate owners of property or land in the UK that have been purchased by overseas entities.
Given how much UK property is linked to Russian corruption – Transparency International estimates around £1.5bn has been spent in the UK by Russians with alleged connections to the Kremlin since 2016 – the register has been welcomed as a step-change in the UK’s approach to tackling illicit financial flows (IFFs) from Russia and elsewhere.
Published on 21.03.22. Read on here