‘No place for dirty money in London property’

Singapore, July 28

Britain will seek more transparency from foreign firms investing in the property market in a bid to stop ill-gotten funds being laundered in the sector, Prime Minister David Cameron said today.

“There is no place for dirty money in Britain,” Cameron said in a speech during a visit to Singapore. “Indeed, there should be no place for dirty money elsewhere. That’s my message to foreign fraudsters: London is not a place to stash your dodgy cash,” he said in the speech at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Campaigners in Britain have raised concerns that rising property prices are fuelled by corrupt cash, although Cameron said that ‘a vast majority’ of foreign companies which invest in the sector are legitimate.

Over 36,000 London properties are owned by offshore companies, while more than 100,000 property titles in Britain are registered to overseas firms.

Cameron said that as a first step toward more transparency, he has asked the Land Registry to publish later this year ‘data on which foreign companies own which land and property titles in England and Wales’.

Britain is also considering asking foreign firms wanting to bid for British government contracts to publicly state who their owners are, he said.