London’s property market is already in trouble.
The British government has suddenly realized that the London property market is “becoming” a “destination of choice” for laundering the proceeds of overseas crime and corruption. And it has done what it always tends to do in delicate situations: it has called an inquiry into the matter.
“Given the threats that face the UK, the effectiveness of the regimes that we use to protect our financial system from misuse have never been more important,” said Member of Parliament Nicky Morgan, Chair of the Treasury Committee. “As part of our inquiry, the Treasury Committee will examine the UK’s role in international efforts to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing and implement sanctions.”
Earlier this month Prime Minister Theresa May said there was no place for “serious criminals and corrupt elites” in the UK — an absurd statement given that London’s Square Mile has been home to almost every major global financial crime and scandal of the last ten years, including Libor, Forex, the London Whale, and rampant gold and oil-price rigging. And for years the City of London has been the place where the world’s richest gangsters dream of stashing or laundering their cash. According to the British government’s own National Crime Agency, “hundreds of billions of US dollars” are laundered through banks in the United Kingdom every year…