Cifas joins representatives from government, law enforcement and the banking sector as a core member of the Home Office’s new Joint Fraud Taskforce, launched today by the Lord Mayor and the Home Secretary.
The Joint Fraud Taskforce will create a new era of collaboration, resulting in shared intelligence, a unified response and greater awareness of the risk of fraud among consumers.
Cifas Chief Executive Simon Dukes, together with the City of London Police, National Crime Agency, Financial Fraud Action UK, the Bank of England and CEOs of the major banks, today signed a declaration of commitment to tackling fraud and reducing its devastating impact.
Simon Dukes said:
"For too long fraud has been viewed as a victimless crime, however for businesses (especially smaller companies) and individuals there can be very real and devastating consequences. The government, law enforcement agencies and the financial industry must work together with organisations like Cifas to understand the full scale and threat of fraud to enable them to protect customers and effectively tackle the criminality. The Joint Fraud Taskforce is an important step towards combating a serious threat to both the UK’s finances and the lives of its citizens, and we welcome the focus it will bring.'
Cifas will lead the ‘Understanding the Threat’ Taskforce workstream with the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which will work to identify key priorities for the Taskforce and spot intelligence gaps and vulnerabilities.
Setting out the work for the new Taskforce, the Home Secretary said:
“Our economy relies on the financial system and everyone in this country benefits from its global success. But the scale and volume of financial activity also brings serious risks of economic crime and real opportunities for criminals to defraud hardworking taxpayers of their savings and earnings.
“Fraud shames our financial system. It undermines the credibility of the economy, ruins businesses and causes untold distress to people of all walks of life. For too long, there has been too little understanding of the problem and too great a reluctance to take steps to tackle it.
“I am delighted to officially launch the Joint Fraud Taskforce, which will bring the collective powers, systems and resources of banks, payment providers, police, wider law enforcement and regulators to bear on this threat.”
The work of the Taskforce will include:
Serious and organised crime destroys lives, damages communities and costs the UK at least £24 billion every year. This new Taskforce will build on ongoing work across the financial sector and law enforcement to protect consumers, such as the Dedicated Card and Payments Crime Unit, where police work alongside industry fraud investigators to disrupt fraudsters and secure convictions.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, operated by the City of London Police, is also helping to identify established and emerging frauds and those who are committing them.
The collaborative approach has proved successful in tackling other forms of financial crime. The Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce (JMLIT), launched last year, has already had a positive impact on tackling high-end money laundering.
Through working together, JMLIT members have developed cases, identified and closed banks accounts, obtained 50 new court orders and made numerous arrests. It is a clear demonstration of what can be achieved in a relatively short space of time when the industry, police and government come together with a common aim.
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