UK Authorities Questioned Over FinCEN Recordsdata Revelations
A powerful British lawmaker is seeking answers from the UK government over “serious concerns” found in the FinCEN Files, an international study based on several BuzzFeed News articles shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
The study showed how Western bank giants move $ 1 billion into questionable assets, enriching themselves and their partners in initiating terrorist, politically motivated political activities. The report has highlighted failures in Britain’s major banks, including HSBC, Standard Chartered, and Barclays.
“Some of the information released on FinCEN papers is extremely difficult,” Mel Stride, chairman of the Parliamentary Conservative Committee Committee, said in a statement released Wednesday.
He also sent a series of questions to Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking the government if it was doing enough to curb embezzlement and to show its involvement with HM Revenue and Customs, the British Revenue Service and the Financial Conduct Authority. “The Finance Committee wanted to know if the Ministries, HMRC and FCA are at the top of this,” he wrote.
Stride questioned whether the HMRC was a “fraudulent fund manager.” He also questioned whether UK law firms “adhere to the terms of the FinCEN documents,” and whether the FCA “will act.”
At the heart of the FinCEN Files are more than 2,000 “suspicious reports”, which banks have to submit to U.S. Treasure upon detection of fraudulent or other financial irregularities. While SARs are not the only evidence that they are guilty, they can support research and gather intelligence.
British companies have been subjected to more than 3,000 suspicious reports – more than any other country. And a US Treasury report on FinCEN Files called the UK a “superpower,” compared to well-known economic centers “such as Cyprus.” Stride wanted to know if the government saw the “responsibility to be at high risk” as a matter of concern. “
In a letter to the FCA, Stride questioned what he was doing with the UK’s financial management following this. He also asked for clarification on what he should do to “improve the financial system in the Crime Economic, based on the information in FinCen files.”
In another letter, this time to the UK Office Home, Stride asked if UK law enforcement agencies were “following” the results of FinCEN Files to see if “there is much that can be done to address financial crime.” UK law also requires banks to submit suspicious reports to the National Crime Agency, and has asked for the establishment of an effective mechanism to help UK law enforcement agencies deal more with SARs.
“With a variety of responsibilities to deal with financial debt,” Stride said, “it is important that the relevant sections of the system be prepared to take action, if necessary.”