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 UK Economic Secretary to the Treasury and banks have been criticised by MPs over Britain’s alleged role in a transnational money laundering scheme. However, closer examination shows that combating money laundering may not be as simple as MPs and other critics think.
The Financial Action Task Force, the inter-governmental standards authority on legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering and terrorist financing, agreed recently to suspend financial crime counter-measures against Iran for 12 months. Though well-intended, it reflects muddled thinking.
The debate over the Panama Papers has focused too much on the emotive issue of tax, and not enough on the issue of transparency. The UK is at the heart of the problem – but can also be at the heart of the solution.
There is often a perceived tension between the financial-inclusion and financial-crime agendas. However, the two aims can be complementary, and the emergence of global standards on a ‘risk-based approach’ to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finance offer a real opportunity to move the two initiatives forward in tandem.