Nicola Sharp of business crime specialists Rahman Ravelli believes their fears are unfounded.
Members of the European Parliament have asked the European Commission not to issue permits that would give UK financial services companies easy access to the European market.
The members have said that permits should not be granted until the UK gives a stronger commitment to tackling money laundering and tax avoidance.
Green MEPs wrote to the European Commission, voicing concerns about the wording on financial transparency and corporate taxation in the new EU-UK trade deal. They argue that access to the single European market should only be granted to UK financial services companies if “robust commitments’’ are obtained from the UK regarding taxation and transparency.
Anti-money laundering and taxation rules are not included in the deal’s “rebalancing” provisions, which are intended to reduce the effect of regulatory differences between the UK and EU. Some MEPs have voiced fears that the deal does not take into account the EU’s tax haven list and code of conduct on business taxation. They have said that the deal’s provisions on tax obligations and money laundering are weak.
The UK, however, has always shown its commitment to anti-money laundering regulations. Despite leaving the EU, the UK did agree to transpose the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive into UK law. As the UK is set to continue to comply with this Directive, the MEPs may have little to fear.