Regulation

Economic Crime Bill looks to improve transparency and uncover criminal acts

Solicitors’ leaders today offered to play their part in tightening loopholes in the government’s new Economic Crime Bill as MPs prepare to debate measures including improving transparency and uncovering potential criminal activity.

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: “We welcome the introduction of the Economic Crime Bill and support the government’s aim to improve transparency of property ownership in the UK and the creation of a new register for overseas entities.

“We support the bill’s aim to uncover potential criminality in a way that minimises any unnecessary burden on legitimate commercial activity, though whether it’s successful will depend on how it’s implemented.

“For it to succeed, businesses must be supported in understanding how the powers within it can be used.

“We do, however, believe the bill can be stronger. We’ve identified several possible unforeseen challenges in the draft legislation, which could lead to bad actors exploiting potential loopholes in land, property and company ownership.

“The Law Society is keen to offer its expertise to help strengthen the bill and remove any potential loopholes that might be exploited by unscrupulous actors.”

Notes to editors

Read the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill 2022

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