Money laundering has always been on the authorities’ radar. But there is little doubt that today they are taking a much more targeted approach to the problem than ever before.

While investigating agencies have become, it seems, more aware of the need to tackle money laundering, new legislation has been introduced to make it easier for them to succeed. While this new legislation is an asset to those looking to prosecute money launderers, much of it places additional obligations on those in business and finance.

There is a clear need in business to have anti-money laundering procedures in place that are fit for purpose and not merely a ‘box-ticking’ exercise. If they are not fit for purpose, they will be of little or no value and will count for little if the authorities do find that money laundering has been perpetrated in a business. Having poor, inadequate prevention procedures will never prevent prosecution.

Last year saw Deutsche Bank fined a total of £506m for money laundering, including a £163m fine from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for “failing to maintain an adequate anti-money laundering (AML) control framework”. Recent months have seen Denmark’s top lender Danske Bank fined millions for poor money laundering controls, while U.S. Bancorp has been ordered to pay $613m to settle allegations that it had inadequate controls.

Jul-Sep 2018 Issue

Rahman Ravelli