Karen Baxter

Senior Associate Fellow; Director, Financial Conduct Authority


Karen Baxter is a consultant and specialist advisor on economic crime, intelligence, and serious crime investigations.

Karen retired from policing in 2020, after a 30-year career that spanned service with the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), and the City of London Police. She has a diverse and unique operational portfolio, having led complex investigations into sexual and violent crime, homicide, and organised crime. At a Strategic level, Karen led the PSNI’s Counter Terrorism Unit, securing prosecutions against some of the most violent terrorist groups in the United Kingdom. Her efforts, whilst working with key stakeholders in this arena, saw significant reductions in terrorist related organised crime and paramilitary attacks.

In 2018, she was appointed as Commander and National Coordinator for Economic Crime for UK Policing. Karen’s responsibilities included complex fraud, money laundering, overseas anti-corruption, and intellectual property crime investigations. Karen was also Deputy to the National Police Cyber lead for policing across UK. At a strategic level, she delivered a National Policing Strategy for fraud which was implemented across UK Policing with the support of Police and Crime Commissioners to develop a more consistent approach to economic crime.

In 2020, Karen joined UK Finance as the Managing Director for Intelligence Strategy to review the current use of intelligence and information within the financial industry. This role saw Karen successfully agree a set of recommendations with key strategic partners paving the way for the future.

Karen has a degree in Social Policy and holds a (Mst) with the University of Cambridge.

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