The police and Serious Fraud Office have agreed to work more closely together to net the big sharks of the financial crime world.

Police Minister and Minister responsible for the SFO Judith Collins yesterday said a memorandum of understanding had been signed that would "widen the net in the fight against financial crime".

The agreement envisages joint operations on financial crime investigations, prosecutions and asset recovery. SFO chief executive Adam Feeley told the Herald the relationship between the agencies had often been improvised in the past and it made sense for them to work together.

"The police have obvious strengths, huge numbers and they've got fantastically skilled investigators who've been doing the job for years. The SFO's very small but it's got very good business relationships as forensic accountants and investigating lawyers who have got a very good understanding of the business world.


"The taxpayer doesn't need to fund a duplication of resources."

That had been highlighted by the fact the SFO had recently begun work on a case "of some real scale". He refused to give details other than to say it did not involve a finance firm.