Robust UK

Business Data Group's role in helping to fight economic crime in the UK.


Robust UK

Championing increased integrity for the company formations industry.

After a four-year wait, Business Data Group welcomed the Government’s announcement of the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill in March 2022.

Along with proposed reforms to Companies House, the publication of the Government’s Corporate Transparency and Register Reform White Paper set out how it would tackle economic crime and crack down on corporate fraud in the UK. The Home Office announcement of the Bill followed months of consultation into a planned reform of Companies House and new urgency to crackdown on money laundering and dirty money in the UK following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Read Business Data Group's media statement here.

This is a really positive first step forwards in the UK’s efforts to tackle economic crime and it's good to see that some of Business Data Group’s concerns and recommendations have been taken on board. It's a shame it has taken so long to get to this stage and we dare not think how much of the taxpayers’ purse would have been saved if these measures were in place during the pandemic.

Richard Osborne, Founder, Business Data Group and Robust UK

In an interview with Business Data Group, Companies House director of policy, Martin Swain, spoke to Richard Osborne about the upcoming reforms at Companies House. The interview can be viewed here on UKBF's YouTube channel.

The impact of money laundering on the UK economy

After years of campaigning, Business Data Group and other members of the Robust campaign group welcomed the announcement of the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill in March 2022 along with proposed reforms to Companies House.

Aware that economic crime in the UK was out of control, the Robust campaign group commissioned a YouGov poll of business decision-makers in UK SMEs which identified that more than three quarters (76%) of people surveyed believed that money laundering was having a damaging impact on the UK’s business reputation, with 34% of people responding to say that it was “very damaging.”

Spearheaded by Richard Osborne, Robust called for greater defences against money laundering, advocating enhanced due diligence checks at Companies House and bringing the UK’s public registrar under current EU legislation.


At the time of the campaign group's poll, with Brexit looming, business leaders said they would back a range of measures to toughen up the UK’s defences against money laundering.



would pay an additional fee (around £2) for more robust checking procedures by Companies House.



want tougher penalties for those behind shell companies.



believe more robust checking procedures at Companies House would reduce money laundering in the UK.

These findings show that businesses are concerned that money laundering is damaging the UK’s reputation, and they clearly want to see meaningful action. The Government must be prepared to take concerted action to stop the flow of ‘dirty money’ through businesses incorporated at Companies House, and listen to the voices of UK business leaders. The evidence coming from industry is increasingly overwhelming and it is incumbent on government to stop turning a blind eye to nefarious practices on its own doorstep.

Alison Thewliss MP, Scottish National Party’s lead on the Sanctions and Anti Money Laundering Bill