As the UK Government announces its latest measures to fight terrorist financing, and also bribery and corruption, the Institute of Money Laundering Prevention Officers (IMLPO) is holding its sixth annual conference to discuss these and other key concerns facing all those working in the front line of financial crime prevention.
The Draft Bribery Bill was published on 25th March. The Government – which was strongly criticised in 2008 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for “continued failure” to meet its international obligations in tackling bribery – aims to simplify the legislation to allow prosecutors and courts to deal with bribery more effectively. It will become illegal to offer or accept a bribe, either at home or abroad, and the bill will introduce a corporate offence of negligent failure by commercial organisations to prevent bribery.
The day before, on 24th March, the Government announced its updated counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST 2, which identifies specific subjects of interest, including terrorist finance. The Government drew up its original anti-terror strategy in 2003, but has been forced to redraft the document as the nature of the terrorist threat has changed.
One of the speakers at the IMLPO conference, taking place on 11th and 12th May 2009 in Blackpool, is John Drysdale, Chairman of Transparency International (UK), the UK Chapter of the world's leading non-governmental anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International (TI). Transparency International (UK) aims to fight corruption by promoting change in values and attitudes at home and abroad, through programmes that draw on the UK's unique position as a world political and business centre with close links to developing countries.
Also speaking at the conference, on the subject of the latest global developments in counter-terrorist financing (CFT), is Richard Barrett, Co-ordinator of the Al-Qaida/Taliban Monitoring Team of the United Nations, New York. Mr Barrett wrote in a recent paper: “The private sector plays a pivotal, frontline role in countering terrorism financing, as well as in post-incident investigations. Banks know more about their clients than any other professional body: they know how, where, and when their clients get their money, as well as how, where, and when they spend it. Without bank co-operation, counter-terrorism work would be far more difficult and less successful.”
Other key issues that will be covered at the conference include the difficult question of balancing anti-money laundering obligations, client confidentiality and data protection requirements. The problems of whether to do business with politically exposed persons (PEPs) will also be discussed.
Delegates will also hear updates on the future plans of HM Treasury, and the Financial Services Authority.
The Institute of Money Laundering Prevention Officers (IMLPO) provides the only UK forum that is truly representative of the many diverse sectors affected by anti-money laundering legislation, including financial institutions, gaming companies, accountancy firms, money transfer bureaux, law firms etc. Its members share best practice, experiences and opinions on the day-to-day business of combating money laundering, financial crime and terrorist financing. IMLPO enables its members to keep abreast of the latest laws, regulations, ideas, issues and developments in the field, and provides a network for its members to make connections and contacts with whom to share queries and everyday problems. The annual IMLPO conference has become the most important UK event in the area of anti-money laundering and financial crime prevention, and regularly attracts a large audience of practitioners and also representatives of law enforcement and government agencies. For more information please visit www.imlpo.com.