Serious and organised crime, from drugs and cybercrime to people trafficking, costs the UK economy an estimated £24 billion a year. The majority of proceeds are laundered through UK banks and other regulated businesses, and includes money from international criminal activity or corruption.
Not only is money laundering a serious crime in itself, this practice plays a wider role, allowing criminals to fund and expand their operations, and financially impacting regulators, businesses and governments in the fight against it. The National Risk Assessment (NRA) goes further, stating that there is 'a marked overlap between money laundering and terrorist financing'.
Money laundering transfers financial power from legitimate businesses and individuals to criminals, whilst undermining financial institutions and markets.