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An interview with Matthew Townsend


City & Financial Global is proud to present its highly topical Economic Sanctions Summit 2023, which will take place on 31st January 2023. 

The Summit is being held against the backdrop of the Government’s imposition of sanctions against Russian oligarchs and other entities whose association with Putin is potentially helping to fund the conflict in Ukraine. The key issue to be addressed is the Economic Crime Act which introduced measures to identify the beneficial owners behind foreign property owners, through the Register of Overseas Entities which went live on 1 August. It will also look at the use of London as a “laundromat” for criminals to launder money through the acquisition of property and how the National Crime Agency can combat this in the future.

While the current crisis has prompted the government to bring forward the introduction of the Economic Crime Act, its implications and those of the other accompanying measures will have a much broader reach and will considerably strengthen the UK’s ability to counter economic crime of all kinds in the future.

At an industry level, the speaker panel will comprise leading sanctions and financial crime specialists to look at how the imposition of sanctions, and the corresponding freezing of assets, will affect financial institutions and other global organisations with potential exposure to Russia or Russian nationals.

Key themes to be discussed

  • How will the National Crime Agency enforce the new powers granted to it under the Act?
  • Where does the UK stand with its international partners in combatting the threat from illicit finance and kleptocratic states?
  • The European agenda for the enforcement of sanctions against Russia
  • What will the imposition of sanctions, and the corresponding freezing of assets, mean for the City and the financial institutions involved?
  • How will the proposed introduction of a new “strict civil liability test” affect the ability to impose financial penalties on wrongdoers?
  • The US approach to imposing and enforcing sanctions against Russia
  • How do the new measures impact financial institutions’ AML/ABC/CTF screening processes? 
  • Presentation: A year on from the invasion of Ukraine: what lessons can be learned from the imposition of Russian sanctions for China and other potential sanctions targets?
  • Orchestrating a global response to sanctions following the Ukrainian crisis: reconciling different, and potentially conflicting, UK, EU and US sanctions programmes
  • Using the new provisions in the Act to assist in enforcing sanctions against beneficial owners with assets in the UK
  • Review of UK sanctions
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