Public finance ministers are meeting in London to discuss setting up a new international financial system. It is to take over the role of regulating the international financial markets from the European Union.
Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, wants the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to be given powers to fine foreign banks for wrongdoing, such as the manipulation of currency rates or lending.
In an attempt to ensure the reforms are accepted, the British government is promising tough new rules on money laundering and the exchange of confidential data.
Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has said they are vital to clamping down on international fraudsters and money launderers.
Speaking after the two anti-corruption summit in London, Osborne says his reforms are already achieving results, with the British government itself now seeing 4,000 cases of fraud.
“The task now is to do more. And those reforms we are bringing forward today will do more. So we have already seen a 100 percent increase in the number of financial crime cases brought to our attention by HM Treasury.”
But, Britain’s opposition Labour Party insists it is the job of the Department of the Treasury, not the financial regulatory authorities, to clamp down on corruption.
Labour’s finance spokesman, John McDonnell, has said he is concerned by Osborne’s commitment to take on greater powers to fine international financial fraudsters.
“It could lead to international bankers with dodgy links hiding in Britain. If people want to hide from the consequences of what they are involved in, then of course the UK is an ideal place for them to do it.”
The FSB is an independent body backed by the G20, which was set up in response to the financial crisis of 2008.
London is often cited as the centre of an international scandal involving bribes, corruption and money laundering in foreign affairs.
However, there is no evidence that any of the £125 billion of foreign aid, aid to low and middle income countries, is under scrutiny in this way.
Lawmakers have warned Osborne to keep his hands off such matters, unless it relates directly to public expenditure.
Urgent Business Matters looks at the evidence of a conflict of interest and how the anti-corruption summit should be dealing with it.
All references have been attributed to their respective organisations. The briefing presented to the Secretary of State for International Development was authored by the Centre for Global Development and has been published on the organisation’s website. However, the contents of the briefing and the event in which it was presented have not been endorsed or approved by DFID.
So what does all of this imply about the role of governments in the global financial services industry? In practice, it simply means you can spend your money knowing that you have some legal protection as a consumer, whether you’re taking a chance on new casino sites or if you’re making a significant purchase of something like a home, vehicle, or even something like a commercial premises from which to run a business.