Transatlantic Group Identifies Correspondent Transfers as Key Financial-Crime Risk

By Koos Couvée

European and American investigators and financial intelligence units are supplying some of the world’s largest banks with data on risks posed by correspondent accounts as part of a new forum aimed at tackling fraud and money laundering.

Launched in December, the Europol Financial Intelligence Public Private Partnership, or EFIPPP, involves investigators, regulators and officials from financial intelligence units in seven European nations and the United States, as well as senior compliance officers at 14 global lenders, including Standard Chartered and HSBC.

The group has identified a “dilution” of know-your-customer processes tied to correspondent banking as a key risk after criminal investigations in the European Union found that financial institutions often lack insight into the parties behind certain suspicious transactions, Frederic Pierson, head of Europol’s criminal assets bureau, told ACAMS

Since the launch of the EFIPPP in December, regulators and other officials have also notified senior compliance officers on transactional patterns indicative of foreign-exchange and “business email compromise” scams, while taking care to stay onside of the European Union’s onerous, recently updated data-privacy rules.

“We only exchange strategic information, not operational information at this stage,” said Pierson, who also spoke during a panel at the ACAMS AML & Financial Crime Europe conference in Amsterdam on Thursday. “The idea is to give typologies to the banks for them to have better monitoring of transactions.”

EU nations taking part in the forum include Belgium, Spain, Germany, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The group met for the third time at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Thursday and Friday.

A separate public-private group is exploring ways to address legal and regulatory hurdles that impair banks from sharing financial intelligence with law enforcement agencies and each other across borders.

“The objective is to have a bit of policy-making to increase the possibility to share financial information, [including] operational information,” Pierson said.

Topics : Anti-money laundering , Counterterrorist Financing
Source: European Union , U.S.: FinCEN
Document Date: June 1, 2018