This article by Adrian Lowery appeared on July 25, 2015, on the UK financial website “This Is Money”:
Below we take a few excerpts, and encourage people to read the whole article on the original site. Then, ask, what about the Metro Vancouver region? The #donthave1million movement has been demanding that governments gather data and take action to limit inappropriate influences on Vancouver’s housing market.
- National Crime Agency alarmed by number of homes registered to complex offshore corporations
- Inflows big enough to drive London property prices artificially high
- Treasury’s £150m windfall in past three months from tax on properties bought by companies, trusts and investment funds
- It’s long been known that overseas wealth has played a leading part in driving up London property prices – at the top end if not throughout.
- But it’s now alleged that much of the foreign wealth pouring into expensive homes in the capital is dirty: the proceeds of crime.
- A leading crime-fighter has warned that foreign criminals are laundering billions of pounds by purchasing prime London property.
- Donald Toon of the National Crime Agency has said he is alarmed by the number of homes registered to complex offshore corporations – some of which have been bought with laundered money.
- He added that the inflows are big enough to be responsible for driving London property prices artificially high.
- The Treasury has received a £150million windfall in the past three months from a tax on properties purchased by companies, trusts and investment funds, rather than individuals, supporting Mr Toon’s claim.
- …Hundreds of billions of pounds are laundered in the City every year, according to the National Crime Agency, and investigations are intensifying into the matter. Mr Toon added: ‘Prices of high end property are being artificially driven up by the desire of overseas criminals to sequester their assets here in the UK. What they are doing is distorting the market.
- Full article http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-3174280/London-property-prices-inflated-foreign-criminals-laundering-money-warns-NCA.html