In May 2023, the Joffe Trust convened a two-day conference on the next steps to tackle economic crime in the UK. We were delighted to partner with Wilton Park and the Open Society Foundations.

50 senior figures came together from the most relevant sectors, including: key government departments, the private sector, regulators, law enforcement, academics and civil society. Collectively, they brought decades of experience and insight into the issues.

The lively discussion and powerful conclusions are summed up in this report. The highlights are:

The UK has made substantial progress recently in the fight against economic crime. The new Economic Crime Plan and Economic Crime laws have the potential to fix long standing issues.

However, the system as a whole is inadequate in proportion to the harm. It remains fragmented, chronically underfunded in some parts, vastly expensive in others and insufficiently effective.

There is collective ambition for bold reforms to create a more efficient and effective system. This could be achieved through two areas of work.

  • First, achieve the most from the new Plan and laws, by supporting the best possible implementation. For instance, this includes helping develop robust and creative strategies for data sharing, and staffing.
  • Second, develop the next generation of reforms to restructure the UK’s response to economic crime. This requires stronger vision, leadership, funding & political support.

Multi-stakeholder engagement can help turbo charge and improve both of these areas. There was significant appetite to continue the dialogue and work together to drive progress.

Here at the Joffe Trust, we are considering what we should do next. We look forward to continuing to support civil society. We are keen to help the wider network grow, diversify and continue to learn from each other. We may be able to add value by convening multi-sector discussion on emerging priorities like:

  • Leveraging professional ethics across professions,
  • Identifying priorities for academic research (potentially linked to outcome goals for the system as a whole),
  • Strengthening the narrative and political engagement,
  • Changing the norm from financial secrecy to transparency (with privacy protections) by default,
  • Practical approaches to develop next generation reforms.

We would welcome any thoughts you might have. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.