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Failure to Prevent Economic Crime – One step closer?


Following six years of calls from parties interested in combatting economic crime, including the current Director of the Serious Fraud Office and her most recent predecessor, the House of Commons finally debated a proposed corporate offence of failure to prevent economic crime on Wednesday.

Fraud and money laundering continues to remain a serious global issue.

UK prosecutors have long argued that:

  1. Under the existing principles of corporate liability it is too difficult to hold a company to account where serious economic crime has taken place within the company, and
  2. Have advocated that the introduction of a ‘failure to prevent’ offence to address this issue.

The proposed offence was introduced in December 2020 as a late amendment to the Financial Services Bill. It was debated during the Bill’s Third Reading in the House of Commons on 13 January 2021.