Financial Services Welcome the SOCA

The arrival of SOCA, the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency with its remit to tackle identity theft, has been welcomed by the financial services industry

One of Soca’s first tasks will be to integrate intelligence gathering systems required to help smash organised immigration crime, money laundering and identity fraud gangs.

Home Office Minister Charles Clarke commented: ‘Organised crime is a massive and growing problem affecting every neighbourhood in the UK, damaging our communities to the tune of more than £20bn in criminal profit,’ said Clarke.

Some 91 per cent of people feel that internet firms should do more to protect personal information – such as bank account details and email addresses – from hackers and other internet criminals.

Fear of identity theft has also led to 72 per cent of the 2,000 UK adults questioned to change their behaviour online, says the survey by market research firm YouGov.

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) is reportedly working with Soca to review the industry’s Suspicious Activity Report system used by financial services firms to report potentially criminal transactions.

‘BBA members have high hopes that the new arrangements will produce more effective co-operation between the financial sector and the law enforcement agencies,’ said BBA chief executive Ian Mullen