Global money laundering losses are currently estimated to top US$1 Trillion1 a year, with stolen and illicit funds being used to finance everything from terrorism, the illegal drug trade, people trafficking and supporting criminals’ lavish high-end lifestyles.
But while the numbers and volume of losses speak for themselves, legislators across Europe look set to take an even tougher line against institutions that fall foul of money launderers – including retrospective analysis of historic frauds.
It has emerged that the European Commission (EC) is now revisiting past money laundering cases at EU banks to determine if current rules need to be updated. Included is a review of cases between 2012 and 2018. It’s hoped it will highlight how and where banks fell short in preventing the crimes. At the same time, the EC is also looking at critical cases where financial institutions collapsed following money laundering scandals, including Latvia’s ABLV and Malta’s Pilatus.2
Several high-profile German and French banks are also among the lenders being screened. In 2017, one was fined US$425 million in the USA relating to a scandal which saw US$10 billion moved out of Russia between 2011 and 2015. Elsewhere, another was obliged to pay US$95 million relating to a dispute in the US over violations of anti-money laundering regulations.
The new review means that right now, is a timely opportunity for businesses across the UK and the rest of EMEA to invest in getting processes in place and updated to ensure they have the latest safeguards to help protect their customers, their businesses and their reputations.
How can Experian help?
Our compliance solutions already have a proven track-record, with one high street lender already saving £50 million a year thanks to our ability to help its fraud and anti-money laundering teams better manage risk by delivering a comprehensive picture of their business and retail customers.
‘One high street lender is already saving £50 million a year’
We’re able to aggregate and match a multitude of different internal and external sources to provide the most up-to-date, reliable information available, enabling fast, smart and scalable due-diligence, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks.
Given we’re all working in a complex global economy, many businesses also have equally complex ownership structures that can span national boundaries, making it far harder to identify all beneficial owners. But as ever, it’s all about the data and with some businesses working with incomplete information, or spending significant time manually determining company ownership and control. As a result, getting a consistent and accurate view of financial crime risk can be a challenge. If something gets missed, it’s clear the fines and penalties are serious. As well as delays, inconvenience, negative customer experience and reputational losses.
We can help you carry out these checks quickly and easily and help find hidden Ultimate Business Owners (UBOs) by assessing the full corporate structure. Our unique algorithm analyses the full corporate structure to identify anyone with a 10% or more shareholding, using filed accounts, director, or shareholder information and classifications to determine ownership and control.
Individuals behind each business can be authenticated leveraging key parties’ usual residential address (URA). Additional screening for Fraud, Adverse Media, Peps and Sanctions checks can be carried out, providing you with increased confidence that you know the businesses you are dealing with.
Finally, our data provides relevant risk information for industry sectors, including hidden trading activities, geography exposure, flagging hidden Money Service Bureau (MSB) or presence on official registers including Charity Commission, Gambling Commission and FCA lists, to make quick and consistent customer assessments.
They can be integrated into your own systems via an API web interface to deliver analysis in real-time, or online via our web-based portfolio monitoring tools. Contact us to find out more.