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Credit Suisse data leak: Billions of euros from illegal activities discovered in bank accounts

23 February 2022
Knowledge Base

by Dan Mihai

A leak inside the Swiss banking company Credit Suisse revealed the details of the accounts of more than 30,000 customers worldwide. These accounts hold a total of over 100 billion Swiss francs (€ 80 billion), some of which comes from illicit sources such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering and corruption. Thus, Credit Suisse is embroiled in a new controversy over its unethical discretionary policies and unclear customer selection and money-making procedures. Continue reading…

Digital currencies and the soul of money

07 February 2022
Knowledge Base

Agustín Carstens, General Manager of the BIS, Goethe University’s Institute for Law and Finance (ILF) recently delivered a speech at the conference on “Data, Digitalisation, the New Finance and Central Bank Digital Currencies: The Future of Banking and Money” on 18 January 2022. It’s an honour to deliver this speech at Goethe University. Of course, I wish I could have been in Frankfurt in person. In a speech at this university four years ago, I addressed the growth and pitfalls of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Since then, the debate on the future of money has grown much broader, but it continues to touch on the very foundations of the monetary system. Continue reading…

FCA commences criminal proceeding in relation to Collateral (UK) Ltd

20 January 2022
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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has commenced criminal proceedings against the two former directors of Collateral (UK) Ltd (Collateral), Peter Currie and Andrew Currie, who each face two charges under the Fraud Act 2006 and one charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2000.  The FCA alleges that the Curries, who are brothers, dishonestly represented to investors that Collateral was authorised and regulated by the FCA to operate as a peer-to-peer lender knowing this was untrue. Continue reading…

EBA alerts on the detrimental impact of unwarranted de-risking and ineffective management of ML / TF risks

18 January 2022

The European Banking Authority (EBA) recently published its Opinion on the scale and impact of de-risking in the EU and the steps competent authorities should take to tackle unwarranted de-risking. Providing access to at least basic financial products and services is a prerequisite for the participation in modern economic and social life and de-risking, when unwarranted, can cause the financial exclusion of legitimate customers. It can also affect competition and financial stability. De-risking refers to decisions taken by financial institutions not to provide services to customers in certain risk categories. De-risking can be a legitimate risk management tool but it can also be a sign of ineffective money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF) risk management, with at times severe consequences.

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There are no no-risk countries

13 January 2022
Knowledge Base

by Geert Vermeulen

Two former employees of Dutch social housing corporation Vestia have been convicted for corruption. One of them received a 2,5 year jail sentence and the other one was sentenced to 1 year in jail. Cleaning companies, window cleaners and contractors who worked for Vestia paid the two employees large money amounts and goods in kind to get assignments from the housing corporation. The father of one of the employees and two intermediaries were involved as well. The Vestia employees told the suppliers in advance what price they should offer. Vestia estimates that the total damage of the fraud for them has been around EUR 3 million.
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The U.S. Releases its First-Ever Strategy on Countering Corruption

08 December 2021
Knowledge Base

Corruption is a cancer within the body of societies—a disease that eats at public trust and the ability of governments to deliver for their citizens. The deleterious effects of corruption impact nearly all aspects of society. It exacerbates social, political, and economic inequality and polarisation; impedes the ability of states to respond to public health crises or to deliver quality education; degrades the business environment and economic opportunity; drives conflict; and undermines faith in government. Those that abuse positions of power for private gain steal not just material wealth, but human dignity and welfare. Recognising corruption’s ability to corrode democracy, on June 3, 2021, President Biden established the fight against corruption as a core U.S. national security interest. Continue reading…

FCA fines Sunrise Brokers LLP £642,400 for serious financial crime control failings

02 December 2021
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Sunrise Brokers LLP has been fined over £600,000 for deficient anti money laundering systems and controls. This is the second case brought by the FCA in relation to cum-ex trading, dividend arbitrage and withholding tax (WHT) reclaim schemes. The first FCA case relating to cum-ex trading concluded in May 2021. The FCA found that Sunrise had deficient systems and controls to identify and mitigate the risk of facilitating fraudulent trading and money laundering in relation to business introduced by the Solo Group, between 17 February 2015 and 4 November 2015. Continue reading…

150 arrested in dark web drug bust as police seize EUR 26 million

22 November 2021
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Police forces across the world have arrested 150 alleged suspects involved in buying or selling illicit goods on the dark web as part of a coordinated international operation involving nine countries. More than EUR 26.7 million (USD 31 million) in cash and virtual currencies have been seized in this operation, as well as 234 kg of drugs and 45 firearms. The seized drugs include 152 kg of amphetamine, 27 kg of opioids and over 25 000 ecstasy pills. This operation, known as Dark HunTOR was composed of a series of separate but complementary actions in Australia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, with coordination efforts led by Europol and Eurojust. Continue reading…

Support for the arrest of online scammers in Georgia and Israel

16 November 2021
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With Eurojust’s support, authorities in Germany, Georgia and Israel have dismantled a criminal network operating various online trading platforms, defrauding victims of at least tens of millions of euros. During a series of actions in Georgia and Israel last week, 11 suspects were arrested, and real estate, luxury vehicles, communication equipment and cash were seized, for a yet unknown amount. Investigations into the fraud scheme started in 2015, after complaints from citizens, including German victims, who had lost all their investments via at least 18 different online trading platforms. Continue reading…

European Banking Federation and SAS help banks worldwide fight financial crime

02 November 2021
Knowledge Base

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that US$800 billion to $2 trillion is laundered through worldwide financial systems each year. That’s an astonishing 2-5% of global GDP. The European Banking Federation (EBF) – uniting 32 national banking associations in Europe, representing 5,981 banks with roughly 2.6 million employees – has partnered with SAS to help financial firms worldwide curb the deluge. “Rapidly evolving business and technology render conventional methods for anti-money laundering (AML) inefficient and call for a more innovative approach for fighting financial crime,” said EBF CEO Wim Mijs. “The future of AML is rooted in the use of innovative technologies and shared solutions that, in practice, enhance experts’ judgment and reveal the full picture when dealing with complex criminal networks. We are confident that this collaboration with SAS will help us prepare our members, and the broader banking community, for this new reality.” Continue reading…