Money laundering, oligarchs, terrorists: How corrupt are the banks? | To the Point
The world’s largest banks have laundered more than $ 2 trillion in almost twenty years
Several global banks have transferred large sums of money for nearly two decades, despite doubts about the origin of the money, BuzzFeed and other media reported, citing confidential documents submitted by credit institutions to the US government..
Media reports are based on suspicious activity reports filed by banks and other market participants with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Office.
The International Consortium of Journalists (ICIJ) reported that the documents contained information on transactions worth more than $ 2 trillion between 1999 and 2017, which were flagged by internal departments of financial institutions as suspicious..
Five of the world’s banks most often featured in the documents — HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered Plc and Bank of New York Mellon Corp, reported to ICIJ. The current situation indicates systemic errors in the industry, which is simultaneously underfunded and overloaded, which allows huge volumes of illegal funds to move through banks.
Bank stocks plunge on reports of alleged money laundering
The credit institution has a maximum of 60 days to inform the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency under the US Treasury on detection of a suspicious transaction. The ICIJ report says that in some cases, banks have been processing such transactions for years.
It is also known that banks often transferred funds to companies registered in offshore zones, such as the Virgin Islands, and did not have information about the final recipient of the funds..
The types of transactions highlighted in the report include funds processed by JPMorgan for potentially corrupt individuals and companies in Venezuela, Ukraine and Malaysia, money from the Ponzi scheme moving through HSBC, and funds related to the Ukrainian billionaire processed by Deutsche Bank.
«I hope this situation will prompt politicians to take urgent action to implement the necessary reforms. The impact of economic crime is felt not only in the financial sector – they pose a serious threat to society as a whole», – said Tim Adams, Executive Director of the Institute of International Finance.