In its second meeting, RUSI’s Taskforce on a Transatlantic Response to Illicit Finance (TARIF) assessed how the US and UK currently enable, as well as frustrate, international illicit financial flows.
Sessions examined the inefficiencies in both countries’ responses, along with the support measures that can strengthen the capacities of other countries.
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Tackling global illicit finance is not a simple process. The solutions are multi-faceted and require international and cross-sector collaborative responses. The US and the UK are in a position to lead the effort. A good place to start is an honest assessment of where they play both negative and positive roles in this complex global system. By addressing their own deficiencies, pooling resources and linking approaches for joint action they have a chance to drive real transformation.
Long-term change will require leadership and vision, in addition to consistency in action. The taskforce explored the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ tools that can be used to build capacity and strengthen accountability in third countries, and what can realistically be improved in existing law enforcement collaborations and information sharing mechanisms.
It’s important to make sure we have joint ambitions in supporting capacity building at a third country level, as well as with organisations such as the FATF.
Partner, Global Head of Financial Crime, KPMG and TARIF Member
The second TARIF meeting took place on 16 November and included 35 experts and practitioners from both sides of the Atlantic. Sessions examined: (1) what the US and UK can do to frustrate the movement of illicit funds from third countries that transit through US and UK systems; and (2) how the US and UK together can better support third countries that wish to strengthen their domestic defences against illicit finance.
Specific topics included: asset recovery; ultimate beneficial ownership transparency; improvement of the mutual legal assistance process; support for journalists and civil society, including improved data sharing; and a clear multilateral strategy on the use of sanctions.
A key solution to supporting civil society and independent media is making sure that they have resources and access to information, not just being set up to fail.
Director, Transparency International USA and TARIF Member
RUSI’s TARIF is convening a series of workshops over the course of one year. At its conclusion, it will release a set of shared principles for how the US and UK could better target illicit finance together.
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TARIF aims to strengthen global democracy by identifying viable ways in which the UK and US can combine efforts in tackling illicit finance.