Banking Scandals Highlight AML’s Weakest Link: People
26 Mar 2019

Recent headlines on “money laundering scandals,” “laundromats” or [INSERT SENSATIONAL NICKNAME HERE] have gotten the attention of policymakers, governments and banks in such a way that it might like seem like the underlying criminality is a new phenomenon. But none of it should be surprising to those tasked with fighting financial crime.

In such times, it might be beneficial to remember what was apparent years ago in the Bank of Commercial and Credit International (BCCI) scandal: money laundering is an old problem of the modern world and its one constant is that it begins and ends with people.

Failings stem from people through their decisions, actions and inactions, yet what is often focused on are compliance controls and such punitive steps as fines, firings and closures. Why are there no criminal sentences of bank employees following large-scale money laundering investigations?

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