Managing partner & Head of litigation & Insolvency at Moon Beever, Frances Coulson, comments in City AM on fraudulent money in the United Kingdom.
Britain first passed a law allowing for the creation of limited-liability companies – described by the Economist in 1999 as “the key to industrial capitalism” – in the mid-19th century. They quickly exploded in popularity.
Those arrangements are now under close scrutiny, after landing at the heart of the money-laundering scandal that has enveloped Danish lender Danske Bank.
In a report compiled after British banker Howard Wilkinson blew the whistle, Danske found some $200bn had been laundered through its Estonian branch, with UK limited partnerships “the preferred vehicle for non-resident clients” upon who the scandal is centred.
Wilkinson was excoriating in his remarks about the UK’s business structures during testimony to the European Parliament last month.
“The role of the UK is an absolute disgrace,” said Wilkinson, Danske’s Baltics trading head during a period in which it processed huge amounts of dirty money. “Limited liability partnerships and Scottish liability partnerships have been abused for absolutely years.”