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Modern slavery and financial services - new report

Listeners to the Archers will be aware that modern slavery has been present amongst the lives of those living in fictional Ambridge, which perhaps gives an indication that it is becoming an issue that needs to be talked about more openly.

The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner's Office has announced the publication of a report into the UK's financial sector and has found worryingly low levels of awareness of forced labour and exploitation of workers.

With millions being exploited across the UK and globally on farms, in factories and cleaning, criminal gangs will launder their funds through seemingly legitimate businesses and then into the international financial system.  The report says that if companies look hard enough they will find modern slavery within their supply chains.

The report highlights that 43% of employees in board level management, as well as directors within financial services, either did not know if their organisation had a modern slavery policy to manage their slavery risks or they confirmed that they did not have one at all.  

Also, 68% of financial services employees didn't believe that the subject had been raised more than a few times by senior management, if at all, within the last 12 months.

Dame Sara Thornton, the UK's independent anti-slavery commissioner,  has written to the chief executive offices of major financial institutions asking them to respond to the concerning findings that the report highlights, and to let her know what they are going to do to address modern slavery and human trafficking within their organisations.

Click here to read the report