The UK National Crime Agency (NCA) is set to more than double the number of staff at the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), which is based within it.

The NCA has said the FIU headcount will rise to 200 by the middle of next year. The staffing rise will be a sharp increase on the 80 employees the FIU had at the time of the UK's last Financial Action Task Force inspection three years ago.

The NCA has also disclosed that it is set to build a new IT system for the FIU to process suspicious activity reports in order to "provide additional analytical capability for investigators".

The acting Attorney General Michael Ellis referred to the proposed improvements to the FIU's resources in a speech at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime. He made it clear that he thought it was the responsibility of the government, the regulatory bodies, companies, financial institutions and law enforcement to work together to tackle the threat of economic crime.

Mr Ellis also made it clear that he believes that progress is being made in the battle against economic crime as a result of close relationships between the public and private sector. He cited a report from May this year outlining how much of the UK's Economic Crime Plan is already being delivered.

The FIU is certainly being seen as an important component in the drive against economic crime. Its increased resources indicate the value that is being placed on its work.

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