Preventing and disrupting organised crime and terrorist finance
Illicit finance and money laundering underpin and enable most forms of organised crime. This activity allows criminals to further their operations and conceal their assets which impacts the national security of the United Kingdom.
The UKFIU’s work with SARs plays a critical role in alerting law enforcement to potential instances of money laundering and terrorist financing. SARs are a vital source of intelligence, not only on economic crime but on a wide range of criminal activity. They are instrumental in, and have helped with, identifying fraud victims, sex offenders, murder suspects, missing persons, people traffickers, fugitives and terrorist financing.
The UKFIU is housed within the National Crime Agency’s National Economic Crime Centre (NECC).
Suspicious Activity Reports
Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) alert law enforcement to potential money laundering or terrorist financing. SARs are made by financial institutions and professionals such as solicitors, accountants and estate agents. They can also be submitted by private individuals where they have suspicion or knowledge of money laundering or terrorist financing.
SARs are not crime or fraud reports; if someone wishes to report a crime or a fraud they should contact their local police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
If you are looking to find out about the value of SARs, how they are used, who should submit them and how – please refer to the Suspicious Activity Reports page.
Spotlight on the UK Financial Intelligence Unit
Play a role in tackling illicit finance to disrupt serious and organised crime
To do this, we need officers with a range of backgrounds, skills and experience to help us stay one step ahead of criminals.
Looking for a rewarding and challenging opportunity where your work really matters?
There is no such thing as a typical UKFIU officer. We are a diverse team from a wide range of backgrounds and each individual brings something unique, which enables us to stay one step ahead of criminals. We are actively looking to recruit people from all walks of life who can bring new perspectives and experiences.
You don’t necessarily need to have a background in law enforcement or finance to join the UKFIU. If you have a desire to protect the public, are adaptable and able to prioritise in a fast-paced environment, with a keen eye for detail, then we want to hear from you.
What is it like to work at the UKFIU?
To tackle serious and organised crime, we need a diverse team of skilled individuals to alert law enforcement to potential instances of money laundering and terrorist financing. We need individuals who are motivated by protecting the public, pay keen attention to detail and have an interest in financial crime. You do not need a background in law enforcement or finance to join our team. Have a read of the career journeys of some of our officers below to see how they came to a career at the UKFIU and what a day in their life entails.
- Meet David – an Operational Officer who has joined the UKFIU International team after graduating with a Masters degree in Politics: Day in the life - Operations
- Meet Fiona – a Senior Manager for our Operational Support function who has spent fourteen years across many units in the National Crime Agency: Day in the life - Operational Support
- Meet Mike – an Engagement Manager who helps law enforcement agencies to exploit the information contained with Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs): Day in the life - Engagement
- NCA Intelligence Officer - UKFIU
Learn more about the UKFIU Engagement Teams
The UKFIU Engagement function focuses on all external facing capabilities conducted by the unit including engagement, education and support.
They produce magazines, podcasts and social media posts as well as engaging with all manner of external stakeholders such as private companies within the regulated sector, law enforcement agencies, other government departments and the general public.
Why work with us?
Media and Publications
All copies of the UKFIU magazine SARs In Action can be found on the NCA website here. Each publication focuses on specific issues relevant to the exploitation of financial intelligence to assist in preventing and detecting crime.
The magazine is aimed at: all law enforcement (senior investigating officers, front-line police officers and police staff); reporters; regulators; supervisors; trade bodies; government partners and international partners.
The UKFIU regularly produces Reporter Booklets, containing a sanitised summary of feedback from law enforcement agencies on their use of SARs. These booklets are aimed at: sharing perspectives on the use of SARs with regime participants; sharing and encouraging best practice among reporters; and providing a feedback mechanism to the UKFIU about the operation of the regime. Please see the top right hand of this page to access the reporter booklets.
SARs Guidance Products
The UKFIU has produced a number of guidance and communication products to assist in submitting better quality SARs, instructions on how to use glossary codes and guidance on different reporting routes. New guidance material has been created for the new SAR Portal, please find these products in the related publications list on the Money Laundering and Illicit Finance page.
In line with the National Police Chief Council’s 2025 vision relating to the changing risks and opportunities of the digital world, there has been a recognised need for the UKFIU to adapt and promote its online presence.
The UKFIU now creates its own podcasts and webinars, aimed at improving the quality of SARs, promoting the work of the UKFIU and the value of the SARs regime, and providing guidance to all stakeholders in the regime i.e. reporters, regulators/supervisors/trade bodies, law enforcement agencies, international partners, government partners and the general public.
All of the UKFIU podcasts are available to stream/download via regular streaming sites such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, and Amazon Music.
These educational podcasts are part of the UKFIU’s new digital presence delivering a smarter approach to fighting crime, in line with UKFIU priorities of reducing harm, protecting the integrity of the UK economy and ensuring that there are no safe spaces for economic crime or terrorism financing.
The episodes feature panelists and subject matter experts from across the globe covering topics such as County Lines, Modern Slavery/Human Trafficking and Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation as well as guidance on what makes a good quality SAR and how to submit one.