Reports suggest that Government will introduce a new Criminal Finance Bill which is currently being discussed by ministers.

Under the proposals, employers could be held liable for crimes committed by staff such as money-laundering, false accounting and fraud.

The reports come after a recent speech by the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC, addressed to the Cambridge Symposium on Economic Crime on August 5, in which Mr Wright said:

"When considering the question 'where does the buck stop?' and who is responsible for economic crime, it is clear that the answer is to be found at every level, from the boardroom down. Both corporations and individuals are responsible.

The intention of the Government actions I have described is not only to prosecute and to fine for breaches of the law, but to promote a culture of corporate responsibility so that we are addressing the threat earlier on and not just reacting to it through investigation and prosecution.

A change in culture is something that will take time but the results, as we are already starting to see, will be worth the effort."

Currently, a UK company can only be found liable for fraud and other economic crimes if it can be proved that those at board level i.e. the "directing mind" of the company were complicit in the criminality.

The Director of the Serious Fraud Office, David Green CB QC, highlighted the difficulties with the current regime in a 2014 speech when he called for the introduction of a corporate offence of failing to prevent economic crime, to mirror the provisions of the Bribery Act.

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