UK to probe European banks linked to SA state capture

A complaint about European banks who may be involved in the illicit financial flows of state capture in South Africa has been forwarded to two law enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom, leaving these banks open to investigation and prosecution.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond forwarded a message about banks based in the European Union and the United Kingdom with alleged ties to state capture on to the Serious Fraud Office, the National Crime Agency and the Financial Conduct Authority, a conduct regulator, according to a report by the Daily Maverick.

As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Hammond occupies a senior political office in the UK responsible for Britain’s money and economy.

Lord Peter Hain, a South African-born politician in the Labour Party in Britain, was expected to ask a question in the House of Lords about the involvement of European banks in facilitating state capture on Thursday. His question was about whether investigating agencies, such as the Serious Fraud Office, would be opening a case into these financial institutions.

But by Wednesday night it had been reported that Hammond had sent his complaint for law enforcement agencies to probe in the UK.

Implicated institutions who are alleged to have helped the illegal money flows of state capture could now face possible prosecution in the UK’s criminal justice system.

The Serious Fraud Office is a prosecuting authority for financial criminal offences ranging from fraud, bribery and corruption. Its jurisdiction covers Wales, Nothern Island and England. It has the power to also prosecute corporates who aid overseas tax evasion.

The National Crime Agency is tasked with bringing those involved in serious organised crime to book, particularly if they threaten the security of the UK. The Financial Conduct Authority, meanwhile, regulates the conduct of 56 000 financial service providers and markets in the UK.

So far, global consulting heavyweight McKinsey, international software corporation SAP and auditing giant KPMG have been among those implicated in state capture.

Hain, who also challenged PR company Bell Pottinger for their role in the Gupta family’s influence in South Africa, confirmed to the Daily Maverick that he would write to Hammond because he believed that British and EU banks were laundering money to Hong Kong and Dubai.

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