Transparency International calls for global action to stop the money laundering merry-go-round

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Transparency International calls on governments and their enforcement authorities across the world to combine forces to end money laundering impunity. These authorities should assign the highest priority to prosecuting individuals and banks when clear evidence exists of their involvement in illicit international financial transactions.

José Ugaz, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Transparency International, stated: “Evidence of money laundering abounds, but for the greatest part investigations have only resulted in corporate fines with almost no criminal prosecutions of individuals. Actions by national judicial authorities to end this criminal behaviour are largely absent.

“This lack of senior management accountability sends a signal to the corrupt individuals and corporations laundering cash, and to their banks, lawyers and other agents who assist them in their crimes, that in this area there is impunity. This is wrong.”

Transparency International calls for judicial authorities around the globe to enforce anti-money laundering regulations and pursue and prosecute those who flout the rules. Banks need to oversee their employees and enforce higher ethical standards, which have to be reflected in the tone from the top, the performance management system and remuneration.

Governments should introduce public registers of beneficial ownership information of companies to facilitate anti-money laundering due diligence by banks as well as anti-money laundering investigations.

Recent investigations in the US, UK and Switzerland in bank practices have put a spotlight on these issues.

“Transparency International will continue to vigorously campaign to unmask the corrupt and those who collude with them: the bankers, the accountants, the real estate brokers, the consultants and the other professional intermediaries who enable the corrupt to launder their ill-gotten cash into the mainstreams of the world’s financial system. Time behind bars for those who break the law, rather than settlements that shift the burden to shareholders, would signal a time to change,” said Ugaz.

Note to editors

Approximately 100,000 individuals and corporations held accounts at the Swiss branch of Europe’s largest bank, HSBC and investigations by the media have been found many to allegedly conceal funds for tax evasion and others to harbour the alleged proceeds of corruption.

UBS, one of the two largest banks in Switzerland, confirmed on February 10 that it is being investigated by US authorities into whether it helped Americans evade taxes.

The New York Times is publishing a series of reports on the use of shell companies to buy high value property in New York city. These shell companies have concealed the identity of the owners and the sources of their wealth, which in some cases allegedly is linked to corruption.


For any press enquiries please contact

Deborah Unger
Tel: +49 30 34 38 20 666
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

How to keep desperately needed humanitarian aid out of the hands of the corrupt

Around the globe, tens of millions of people need humanitarian assistance from governments, humanitarian aid agencies, and the UN, but even when lives are at stake and people at their most vulnerable, corruption and other abuses are not uncommon.

How the IMF can have real impact on fighting corruption

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is meeting in Washington DC this week. We want to send a strong message about what the multi-lateral lender can do to have greater impact on fighting corruption.

The impact of the Azerbaijani Laundromat

Since the story of the Azerbaijani Laundromat broke, Transparency International has been following up on the allegations and, along with OCCRP, calling for action to hold to account the politicians, businesses and intermediaries who were named in this complex money-for-influence scandal.

Corrupción en ascenso en América Latina y el Caribe

Conversamos con más de 22.000 personas en 20 países en América Latina y el Caribe sobre corrupción. Tomando en cuenta el tamaño estimado de la población de estos países, eso significa que alrededor de 90 millones de personas pagaron sobornos.

Corruption on the rise in Latin America and the Caribbean

Transparency International asked more than 22,000 people in Latin America and the Caribbean about corruption in their daily lives. The survey also looks at how institutions are perceived and how corruption has been developing in each country.

Sustainable Development Goals turn two: time to ensure justice for all

September 25, 2017 marks the two-year anniversary of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. Transparency International highlights the need for governments to set meaningful targets for success.

3 things we’ve learned since the Anti-Corruption Summit in London 2016

In May of last year, 43 governments & six international organisations met at the Anti-Corruption Summit and made 648 commitments. To keep up the pressure and make sure that these promises are kept, we looked at 453 commitments to find out what progress has been made - today Transparency International UK has launched a new report and a global pledge tracker with the results.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media

Would you like to know more?

Sign up to stay informed about corruption news and our work around the world