Corrupt money is a global problem. New UK rules will not end Britain’s status as playground of the super-rich
The government has finally stopped a programme that sells British visas for a £2m investment in UK bonds, but anyone who thinks this will free London of the influence of kleptocrats is mistaken.
The UK’s “golden visa” programme began back in 1994, when the Conservative government sought to woo wealthy Hong Kong residents, and was boosted by Labour in 2008. The programme has brought billions into the bond market over the past 24 years, primarily from Chinese and Russian applicants. Since 2015, applicants have had to pass banks’ due diligence tests, but no one in government has ever bothered checking the provenance of their money.