NCA – Annual Threat Assessment

The National Criminal Investigation agency has just published its annual threat assessment.

A very interesting report full of facts and figures and some lovely info-graphics. Strong evidence this year of Covid-19 playing its role in the changing landscape of crime and a clear demonstration of how quickly criminals adapt.

Many insights make depressing reading. Over £12bn of criminal cash generated annually, the scale of money laundering in the hundreds of billions, money mule activity, cyber-crime, ransomware and crypto-asset laundering on the up, child sex abuse increasing due to lockdown and increased online access, fraud at £3bn …

Sometimes though bigger numbers aren’t always bad. Here’s two that I’ll take as positives:

  • £172 million was denied to suspected criminals as a result of defence against money laundering requests (up by 31% – see the SARs Annual Report for detail);  and
  • £982 million of potential financial sanctions breaches were reported in the year ending March 2020. A 3.7 times increase from £262 million in 2018/2019.

Two indicators that firms are doing a better job in relation to financial crime compliance. More reports, more investigations, more disruption of criminal gangs.