How leaving the EU will affect anti-money laundering efforts

Imam Hoque

Imam Hoque

With money laundering being such a sophisticated crime, to combat it effectively takes equally complex legislation. Criminals will seek to take advantage of any post-Brexit policy weakness or instability, and to prevent this, the UK must align its own anti-money laundering standards with those set by global leaders, such as the US or EU.

The pre-existing relationships that the UK has with the EU suggests that the UK may adopt the standards set by Brussels rather than those of Washington, as compliance with Europe will be necessary for post-Brexit financial interaction.

However, with the UK no longer being a part of the EU, it will lose its ability to help set these standards.

This will hinder the UK’s ability to combat money laundering, as it will not be able to ensure that the threats it faces remain on the European policy agenda. 

Criminals gravitate towards areas of weakness and Brexit has the potential to adversely affect the UK’s system of money laundering defences.

With the prospect of 'no deal' looming, the effect would only be intensified should this outcome come to fruition.

In order to ensure that the UK remains at the vanguard of the fight, it should seek to enter into reciprocal data sharing and extradition agreements with neighbouring localities.

It must also resist the urge to lose track of its ethics in pursuit of monetary gain. However, whether this will take place remains to be seen.

Imam Hoque is chief operating officer and global head of product at Quantexa