Public officials are caught directing state funds to their own accounts offshore while the Chinese government seeks to clamp down on corruption even as it strives to loosen control over the country’s currency. Gao Fu Mao, in Beijing, asks if the policy objectives are compatible with the containment of illicit capital.
The British government has announced its long awaited anti-corruption strategy, issuing a paper detailing a comprehensive list of reforms, including significant anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-fraud components.
The ultimate beneficial owners of companies and trusts will be recorded in central registers maintained by EU member states after EU Council and Parliament representatives finalised the draft text of the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive late on 16 December 2014.
The UK Financial Intelligence Unit received 354,186 suspicious activity reports (SARs) in the year to September 2014, an 11.90% rise on the 316,527 filed in 2012/13.
Risks and Controls
China’s full-scale anti-corruption drive is having measurable impact on the casino economy of Macau, and Hong Kong, too, may feel the dragon’s breath. Jens Kastner reports.
Four years ago Ghana was far off the anti-money laundering pace but it has staged a remarkable recovery as Jonathan Dyson reports.
Expansion and overlap of financial crime risks is driving integration of teams and systems as firms seek to improve their response and contain costs. Mark Dunn examines the trend.
Standard Chartered Bank will undergo monitoring of its sanctions compliance programme for an additional three years, to 10 December 2017, following extension of two-year deferred prosecution agreements with the US Department of Justice and the New York County District Attorney’s Office that expired today [10 December 2014].
Internationally-agreed documents often read as unsatisfactory high-level compromise but the Financial Action Task Force guidance on application of a risk-based approach for the banking sector both manages to offer direction and, on occasion, even surprise, Sue Grossey finds.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has warned Iran it faces tighter international scrutiny of its financial services and dealings, should it fail to criminalise terrorist financing and boost its suspicious transaction reporting (STR) requirements.
The demand for charcoal in Africa has never been higher, while weak or absent controls over production and export make it an irresistible and lucrative source of funds for terrorists, armed political factions and criminals alike. David Carlisle investigates the scale of illegal deforestation, who is responsible and countermeasures that might prove effective.
Legal / Regulatory
Quietly ticking in the corner, the control of proliferation finance may not be at the top of every risk register but with international standards in place it cannot be disregarded, says Paul Cochrane.
If it is necessary to implement transaction monitoring and sanctions screening systems, it is no longer sufficient without understanding how they work and how effective they are. Kitty So talks to leading testing service providers.
MLROs at a quarter of small banks had a “detrimental effect” on AML and sanctions systems and controls, the Financial Conduct Authority reports from its latest thematic review. Other findings, if not quite so dramatically negative, are“disappointing” – a favoured regulator euphemism – Timon Molloy discovers.
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