A Comparative Guide to Anti-Money Laundering
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A Comparative Guide to Anti-Money Laundering

A Critical Analysis of Systems in Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and the USA

Edited by Mark Pieth and Gemma Aiolfi

Topical and pertinent issues addressed in this book include questions such as, has all the recent legislative activity really put a stop to the problem? Are the international rules being implemented as carefully as they should? How level is the playing field in cross border banking?
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Chapter 6: Country Report: Anti-money laundering rules in the United Kingdom

Nicola Padfield


Oxford Analytica Ltd1 up-dated by Nicola Padfield2 I INTRODUCTION: HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT AND SIGNIFICANCE OF LONDON AS A FINANCIAL CENTRE A host of legislation designed to counter money laundering may result in the City of London moving beyond its reputation as a money laundering centre. London is a sophisticated and important international financial centre, where capital can move relatively freely and easily. Criticisms of the anti-money laundering legal regime now focus more on the lack of effective enforcement of this legislation. This report reviews the current UK institutions against money laundering before describing the UK criminal and supervisory law. The UK financial services sector accounts for nearly 5 per cent of UK GDP, employs a million people and produced net overseas earnings of £31.2 bn in 1999.3 London ranks as one of the world’s top three financial centres alongside New York and Tokyo. There are more foreign banks in London than any other global financial centre and London is the largest financial centre for cross border bank lending, accounting for 20 per cent of global cross border bank lending. The UK retail banking sector is dominated by 12 major retail banks. In March 2001 there were 309 banks authorized to accept deposits under the Banking Act 1987. In addition there were 355 branches of European authorized institutions entitled to accept deposits in the UK. The UK has 67 authorized building societies managing assets in excess of £165 bn, 245 friendly societies with funds in excess of £15 bn and 688 credit...

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