- Money laundering is a principal enabler of organised crime, allowing criminals to introduce multi-billion dollar illicit profits into the legitimate economy, thus undermining its integrity.
- Rapidly growing cybercrime threats also represent a serious challenge to the financial sector.
- Regulations to combat money laundering and other criminal threats are well developed but under-performing in their impact.
Disrupting money laundering schemes will significantly reduce the ability of organised crime gangs to grow their businesses and expand into new markets. It will help bring serious criminals to justice. It will also protect the systemic integrity of the financial sector and the global economy as a whole.
Great progress has been made in recent years in regulatory reform, ensuring that banks report suspicious activity to law enforcement. The compliance regime across the sector is well-resourced and managed but its strategic impact in preventing or reducing levels of money laundering remains low. This is partly due to fragmented information sharing arrangements, across borders, and between banks and law enforcement agencies. Leveraging their respective capabilities to coordinate influence and action within the law enforcement and banking sectors, Europol and the Institute of International Finance (IIF) have joined forces to identify means by which to improve levels of cooperation. Supported by the Financial Action Task Force and national regulators they will also identify opportunities for improvements in the regulatory regime. Today, 29 June 2017, at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague, Europol and the IIF have launched a high-level forum between the law enforcement and banking sectors to improve the interconnection between these two sectors in mitigating the threats from financial crime, money laundering, terrorist financing and cybercrime. Leading global financial services institutions have joined the forum and attended its first meeting today.
Europol Executive Director Rob Wainwright: "Europol is committed to helping the law enforcement and banking communities fight growing criminal threats to the systemic integrity of the global economy. Confronting financial crime and cybercrime requires enhanced levels of cooperation between our two communities and a more integrated response to the criminal threats involved. There is significant scope for improvement in our collective action and Europol is determined to play its part in delivering better impact."
Tim Adams, President and CEO of the Institute of International Finance: "The global financial services industry is committed to combatting money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. Leveraging technological innovation has helped improve the ability of financial institutions to fight bad actors, but more needs to be done. It is critical for the industry, regulators and law enforcement to continue to work together to improve information sharing and response mechanisms to ensure illicit activity can be minimized. The private sector values taking a constructive role in this process and we look forward to further collaboration with Europol, FATF and other authorities in order to find common solutions to the challenges we collectively face."
At today’s meeting Europol briefed the senior banking representatives on the latest criminal trends concerning financial crime and cybercrime, including evidence of convergence between the two. Among those topics discussed were recent global ransomware attacks including WannaCry and Petya.