Anneliese Dodds has called on the Conservatives to make good on their promise to crackdown on money laundering through the UK property market and stop criminals using homes as “dodgy bank accounts”.
Taking part in an online conference hosted by Labour Housing Group today, the Shadow Chancellor told attendees that the financialisation of housing has meant homes are used as a “means of avoiding tax or laundering the proceeds of crime”.
Dodds explained: “More than £90bn is estimated to be laundered through the UK every year, inflating the price of houses for everybody, leaving luxury homes sitting empty while families on low incomes are crammed into tiny flats.”
The Shadow Chancellor told the virtual meeting that the scale of this problem has been “starkly revealed in recent months” with the publication of the Russia report into interference in the UK and with the leaking of the FinCEN files.
The National Crime Agency received 14,465 suspicious activity reports (SARs) linked to possible money laundering in 2015. Dodds highlighted that, in the year ending March 2019, that had more than doubled to 34,151.