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The Integrated Review: Harnessing the UK’s Financial Capabilities in Support of National Security

Tom Keatinge
Briefing Papers, 5 August 2020
Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, UK Integrated Review 2021, UK, National Security
This Briefing Paper argues that the UK’s finance capabilities can – and should – contribute to a far greater extent to national security.

As the UK government undertakes its Integrated Review of foreign policy, defence, security and international development to re-examine the UK’s priorities and objectives, this paper argues that one of the UK’s great strengths remains underexploited.

As one of the largest economies and, importantly, most central financial hubs in the world, the UK is well positioned to capitalise on these advantages, to contribute further across the fields of foreign policy, defence and security. 

Today, the UK finds itself at a crucial juncture: some argue that Brexit will lead to the inevitable diminution of the UK’s global influence; the UK government is seeking to develop wide-ranging trade agreements and overseas business opportunities; and hostile foreign powers are seeking to better the UK at home and abroad via covert and overt financial means.

Effectively exploiting the country’s financial tools and capabilities to combat illicit finance and identify hostile financial activity will be central to addressing these challenges. This paper therefore argues that the inclusion of finance-based tools in the national security strategy that leverage the UK’s economic strength, central role in global finance and considerable financial prowess should be a central theme of the upcoming review. 

BANNER IMAGE: Courtesy of kloniwotski/Wikimedia Commons

Tom Keatinge
Director, Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, RUSI

Tom Keatinge is the Director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at RUSI, where his research focuses on matters at... read more

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