Tom Keatinge, Director, Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at RUSI, on the need for a global financial crime strategy to counter cybercriminals following a major ransomware attack on 12 May.
The financial sector has long been in the forefront of the fight against financial crime. But, as the industry works to rehabilitate its reputation following the global financial crisis, this largely unseen role is increasingly being brought into the light.
The war on cash – and especially against high-denomination banknotes – has gathered pace over the past year. It is a campaign in which countries have taken different approaches with differing results, but one which is likely to be continued and spread world-wide.
Well away from Whitehall, the UK government’s Criminal Finances Bill is getting noticed. That’s the good news. The bad news is that those at whom the Bill is directed question the government’s willingness to implement its proposed new powers.
The illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is estimated to generate up to $23 billion per annum globally in illicit profits. Remarkably, it is still being treated as a wildlife crime rather than a form of organised crime, ignoring the financial dimension. A financial approach to tackling IWT is urgently needed.
As the threat from Islamic State evolves, security responses must too. Financial intelligence must continue to play a critical role in identifying and disrupting new threats, in investigating foreign terrorist fighters and prosecuting their supporters.