Theresa May to announce task force to crack down on 'most wanted' fraud suspects

Britain's 10 most wanted suspected financial fraudsters will be identified as part of a clamp down by banks and police

Britain's 10 most wanted suspected financial fraudsters will be identified as part of a crackdown by banks and police announced by Theresa May.

The list will be compiled as a result of work by a new joint taskforce to be launched by the Home Secretary on Wednesday as she declares that "fraud shames our financial system".

The taskforce will include representatives of banks, law enforcement agencies and government.

It is being established with the aim of speeding up intelligence sharing between banks and authorities to ensure a more co-ordinated approach to serious and organised crime gangs, whose activities cost Britain at least £24 million a year.

In a speech setting out the scheme later, Mrs May will say: "Our economy relies on the financial system and everyone in this country benefits from its global success.

"But the scale and volume of financial activity also brings serious risks of economic crime and real opportunities for criminals to defraud hardworking taxpayers of their savings and earnings.

"Fraud shames our financial system. It undermines the credibility of the economy, ruins businesses and causes untold distress to people of all walks of life.

"For too long, there has been too little understanding of the problem and too great a reluctance to take steps to tackle it."

The work of the taskforce will include fast-tracking intelligence sharing between banks and law enforcement and the creation of a new top 10 most wanted fraudsters, the Home Office said.

It will also be tasked with identifying intelligence gaps, removing weak links in systems and processes which fraudsters can exploit and taking steps to produce more efficient identification of victims.

Press Association