Anyone and everyone who takes seriously the importance of protecting the UK’s national security, prosperity and reputation abroad must be mindful of the threat that money laundering poses.

The financial sector is of critical importance to the UK economy. It is because of this that money laundering, especially at the higher end involving the laundering of significant amounts of illicit funds through the financial and professional services industries, is a particular concern.

Here at London Registrars, we constantly strive to ensure we are playing our part in stopping the flow of illicit finances arising from criminal activity both at home and overseas.

Why is money laundering a particular threat in the UK?

The UK takes pride in offering an active and dynamic environment in which to set up a business, with relatively few restrictions on entrepreneurs and business owners.

However, it is also the sheer ease with which one can establish a UK business that has long proved a magnet for criminals. Wrongdoers are motivated to set up companies – both in the UK and abroad – that are seemingly legitimate at first glance, but which actually serve mainly as mechanisms for the laundering of illicit funds.

Criminals also regularly seize upon the lucrative property market in the UK, especially in London. Money laundered in this part of the world frequently represents the proceeds of crime that occurred in another country, with major financial centres being alluring transit points or destinations for these proceeds.

When criminal money is detected flowing in large volumes through the UK, authorities in the UK, EU and US can choose to take action with criminal and regulatory penalties. This, however, could increase the chances of major financial institutions collapsing or ending their presence in the UK.

Almost all high-end money laundering, as well as much cash-based money laundering, is made possible by the abuse of legitimate services and processes. A small minority of people can pose a profound threat to national financial systems by taking advantage of unwitting, negligent or even complicit professionals in such fields as accounting, the law, and real estate.

Money launderers often assume roles as intermediaries. In doing so, they may draft documentation, disseminate funds, and facilitate the creation of highly sophisticated structures for the movement and storage of large volumes of illicit funds, while making it difficult to ascertain who actually owns this money.

The diligent anti-money-laundering policies of London Registrars

The aforementioned issues help explain why, in our core services of assisting with the incorporation of new companies and offering company secretarial subscriptions, our own business has to remain vigilant and adhere strictly to the latest anti-money-laundering regulations. This includes undertaking such sensitive tasks as carefully checking IDs and proof of addresses before accepting new clients.

To learn more about the wide range of measures we adopt to help guard against illegal activity, as well as to discuss the business formation and support solutions from which you could benefit, please don’t wait any longer to get in touch with the London Registrars team.

May 2021