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Preparing for the U.K. Criminal Finances Act

Neil Hodge | October 3, 2017

Following stinging criticism that the United Kingdom’s approach to tackling financial crimes wasn’t working, new legislation will come into force at the end of September which will see corporations face the risk of an unlimited fine and a criminal conviction if any employee or “associated person” working on their behalf facilitates tax evasion.

Under the terms of the U.K. Criminal Finances Act, which comes into effect on 30 September, global institutions with a U.K. presence could be subject to U.K. criminal proceedings if an employee anywhere in the world—including agents or sub-contractors acting on the organisation’s behalf—is found guilty of facilitating tax evasion. And lawyers warn that “facilitation” is “widely defined.”

The legislation is a response to the conclusions of a national risk assessment from October 2015 that found that the United Kingdom needed a reformed...

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