Stopping Dirty Money: the Global Effective-O-Meter

Stopping Dirty Money: the Global Effective-O-Meter

About the Global Effective-O-Meter

Large-scale corruption schemes are only feasible if there’s a way to hide and spend the proceeds.

Cases from Azerbaijan and Brazil to FIFA and Malaysia have shown how corrupt networks are able to open bank accounts, transfer funds across borders and acquire prime real estate and luxury goods in global capitals.

Since 2014, a global anti-money laundering body called the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has been assessing whether countries’ measures to stop dirty money are actually working in practice – whether they are effective – in addition to the extent to which laws are in place on paper.

To date, it has assessed 43 countries across the world.  As the Effective-O-Meter shows, average global anti-money laundering effectiveness stands at just 32 per cent. This means that most countries fail to prevent corrupt individuals and their professional enablers from stealing money and getting away with it, at enormous cost to citizens.

Overall, just seven countries score above 50 per cent:  the USA, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, Portugal and Sweden. However, even these relative high-scorers are below the 70 per cent mark.

We will continue to update this page as new FATF reports and effectiveness scores become available.  

Most recent countries with FATF assessments published: Nicaragua, Andorra, Portugal.

Coming soon: Mexico

As of December 2017, global effectiveness at stopping money laundering stands at 32%

Methodology note

The Effective-O-Meter and effectiveness map draw on country effectiveness ratings across 11 “immediate outcomes” available from FATF here.

The 4-point qualitative scale used by FATF to measure effectiveness has been converted to a numerical scale following the system suggested by the OECD here:
Low effectiveness (LE): 0;
Moderate effectiveness (ME): 1;
Substantial Effectiveness (SE): 2;
High Effectiveness (HE): 3.

The unweighted average effectiveness score for each country across all 11 FATF immediate outcomes has been expressed as a percentage of the highest possible score (3: high effectiveness). The global effectiveness score is an unweighted average of the scores for all available countries.

Images: Transparency International

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