China’s clampdown on payment providers is necessary to protect international financial ecosystem

The authorities in China are seeking to expand anti-money laundering supervision of non-bank payment providers and have also stepped up fines. Jose Caldera explains why this is needed. Payment service providers (PSPs), online and micro-lenders, and consumer finance companies, such as PayPal and Square, have an increasing important role in how money moves within the […]

Three financial institution staff arrested in UK as concern grows over Covid-19 loan scheme fraud

Three men working for a financial institution have been arrested in the United Kingdom as part of a probe into suspected fraudulent claims totalling £6million made through the Covid-19 Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). The National Crime Agency (NCA) believes fraudulent claims were made through the use of false data and documents. It said “professional […]

Spanish and US authorities ‘dismantle’ group laundering money for South American drug cartels

A criminal network which laundered money and used hitmen to collect cash throughout Spain for South American drug cartels has been “dismantled”, Europol has said. The Spanish Civil Guard and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) carried out an operation against the long-established criminal organisation in Madrid, leading to four arrests and the seizure […]

BIDEN INAUGURATION: Incoming US Treasury Secretary pledges to build beneficial ownership registry as “quickly as possible”

The incoming US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has told the Senate that cleaning up America’s corporate transparency problem is a “very high priority”. Yellen, speaking at Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, thanked Congress for passing wide-ranging legislation to improve corporate transparency and anti-money laundering. She pledged to “get up and running” and try and build […]

European Commission takes aim at unilateral sanctions by ‘third-countries’ as it unveils strategy to strengthen financial system

The European Commission has published a new strategy to strengthen Europe’s financial system, including measures to tackle the impact of ‘unlawful’ unilateral sanctions imposed by ‘third-country partners’. The commission’s proposals “aim to better enable Europe to play a leading role in global economic governance, while protecting the EU from unfair and abusive practices.” The strategy […]

French central bank conducts Digital Euro experiment with €2million in simulated transactions

The Bank of France (BoF) has announced that it has carried out a successful experiment of a central bank digital currency for interbank settlement purposes. The central bank yesterday revealed that it completed a trial with investment platform IZNES on 17 December 2020 The experiment consisted in the subscription and redemption by investors of money […]

Brexit, freedom, and financial crime: a pyrrhic victory?

At the eleventh hour, the European Union and the United Kingdom have signed an agreement that, among other things, continues cooperation on financial crime. But how does its effectiveness compare to what it replaces? asks John Binns Freedom… but to do what? In a sadly dated scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Eric Idle’s […]

Three in 10 financial services employees ‘unaware slavery exists in the UK’, report finds

Three in 10 employees in the financial services sector are unaware that modern slavery exists in the UK, a report has found. The research, published by The UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Themis International Services and the TRIBE Freedom Foundation, seeks to illustrate gaps in knowledge and training on the issue. Its publication co-incides with National […]

US real estate companies hand over £50m to resolve ‘Black Market Peso Exchange’ laundering charges

Three US real estate companies have agreed to forfeit $50m to settle claims they accepted proceeds from drug trafficking laundered through a notorious underground currency exchange. Audrey Strauss, the Acting Manhattan US Attorney, announced that Sefira Capital and 31 subsidiaries have agreed to forfeit £29 million previously seized and $6.5million in “lieu of the forfeiture […]