HC Deb 13 July 1995 vol 263 cc689-90W
Mrs. Barbara Roche

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many officers in each police service are devoted to investigating reports from banks of possible money laundering. [33119]

(2) how many reports the National Criminal Intelligence Service received from banks about possible money laundering in each of the last three years; [33120]

(3) what has been the average length of time taken over the last year (a) for NCIS to respond to reports of banks' suspicions of money laundering and pass the information on to individual police forces and (b) for individual police forces to investigate such reports; [33121]

(4) how many staff at NCIS are currently employed in responding to banks' suspicions of money laundering; [33122]

(5) what resources NCIS has invested in investigating money laundering in each of the last three years. [33123]

Mr. Maclean

Investigation of possible cases of money laundering is a matter primarily for the police and HM Customs and Excise. The role of the financial intelligence and money laundering section of the National Criminal Intelligence Service is to research and develop disclosures made to it and to enhance their intelligence value before dissemination to the appropriate law enforcement agency. The cost of the section is estimated as:

  • 1993–94: £450,000
  • 1994–95: £460,000
  • 1995–96: £530,000 (estimated)

As at 1 July 1995, there were 13 staff employed in the section.

The number of disclosures received by NCIS from banks and other financial institutions in each of the last three years is as follows:

  • 1992: 11,542
  • 1993: 12,736
  • 1994: 15,007

It is estimated that the average time taken by the NCIS to process financial disclosures during 1994 was 12 weeks. This has now been reduced to 20 working days.

Information with regard to the average time taken by police forces to process such reports is not collected.

I understand that there are about 360 trained financial investigation officers in police forces in England and Wales. Other officers will be involved in financial investigations at different times.