Money laundering in London

London – The National Crime Agency (NCA), the agency against organized crime in the United Kingdom, wrote that each year in Britain is recycled between £ 36 and £ 90 billion (between € 42 and € 105 billion), from 2 to 5% of the British gross domestic product equal to 1.8 trillion pound, and most of this money arrive in London.
Here they are invested in financial industry or in real estate market of luxury homes, increasingly flourishing.
The latest confirmation of the role of London as a safe haven of international recycling is the case revealed a few days ago by the non-governmental organization Occrp (Organized crime and corruption reporting project) and Novaya Gazeta (Russian newspaper).

Between 2010 and 2014, at least 20 billion dollars were recycled to London through a dozen major international banks, a figure that according to British investigators could reach 80 billion dollars.
The money, the result of bribes and corruption, flowed into the London banks from Russia after having passed through Moldova and Latvia.

In London there are more foreign banks than any other financial center, about 250.
In their offices and their branches throughout UK, 3,200 billion dollars of international bonds are managed and 6,800 billion pounds of funds are managed.
In asset management, the United Kingdom is the second most important market place in the world and is the first European financial center for hedge fund and private equity management.
It is the largest insurance center in Europe and the third largest in the world.
37% of all world currency exchanges are concentrated here.
All of this has made the United Kingdom the leading exporter of financial services in the world with a surplus of 97 billion dollars in 2015, more than twice the assets of the United States and four times that of Switzerland.
From this point of view, the City has no competitors. And that’s why so much illicit money comes here.
To guarantee the expansion of the City it was certainly a very bland regulation but also a tax system that favored large capitals and foreign tycoons.
In 1914 the provision was introduced that allowed foreigners residing but not domiciled in the United Kingdom not to pay taxes on income earned worldwide and to be taxed only on income earned in Great Britain.
So today, the owner of an investment fund or a non-domiciled hedge fund can make sure that his income is recorded outside of Great Britain and not even pay a pound of taxes.

That’s why London has become the refuge of businessmen, bankers, financiers and millionaires, all chasing the status of “non-domiciled resident”.
A privilege that British subjects do not have.

Riccardo Cacelli

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