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Financial crime 'must be police priority'

Financial crime should be a police priority and the Home Office should change protocol to help the police to tackle the fraud which funds further crime in the UK, the chief executive of the British Bankers' Association (BBA) said.Angela Knight said that HM Revenue and Customs has also breached its duty of care in dealing with its customers, with regards to the recent loss of personal data in the child Benefit disk scandal.Speaking at the BBA's fifth Annual Conference on Financial Crime, Mrs Knight said: "Today the importance of financial crime and the need to avoid it is high up the agenda of individuals, the authorities and the banks themselves. "Few can have failed to recognise that the millions and millions of individuals' personal financial data that was lost by the HMRC not only has taken some weeks for them to report to those who need to know - the individuals and the banks - but that it is a breach of duty of care which would not be countenanced in the private sector."She added: "It is clear that government has not yet accepted properly the case for making fraud and financial crime a priority for law enforcement in its own right. "As an industry we have argued - and continue to argue forcibly - that given the proven links between financial crime and other types of criminality such as drugs and people trafficking and terrorism, the police's performance framework has to have financial crime as a high agenda item."

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