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

Three priorities at the Open Government Partnership summit

Transparency International has been at the Open Government Partnership's global summit in Tbilisi, Georgia, pushing for action in three key areas.

Civil society’s crucial role in sustainable development

Key players in the development community are meeting in New York for the main United Nations conference on sustainable development, the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). Transparency International is there to highlight how corruption obstructs development and report on how effectively countries are tackling this issue.

Comment gagner la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique

Aujourd’hui est la Journée africaine de lutte contre la corruption – une occasion opportunité pour reconnaitre le progrès dans la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique et le travail significatif qui reste encore à accomplir.

How to win the fight against corruption in Africa

African Anti-Corruption Day is an important opportunity to recognise both the progress made in the fight against corruption in Africa and the significant work still left to do.

Increasing accountability and safeguarding billions in climate finance

In December 2015, governments from around the world came together to sign the Paris Agreement, agreeing to tackle climate change and keep global warming under two degrees centigrade. They committed to spend US$100 billion annually by 2020 to help developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and protect themselves against the potentially devastating effects of climate change.

After Gürtel, what next for Spain’s struggle with political corruption?

At the start of June, the Spanish parliament voted to oust Prime Minister Rajoy after his political party was embroiled in the biggest corruption scandal in Spain’s democratic history. At this critical juncture in Spain’s struggle with political corruption, Transparency International urges all parties to join forces against impunity and support anti-corruption efforts in public life.

Risk of impunity increases with outcome of Portuguese-Angolan corruption trial

A verdict last week by the Lisbon Court of Appeals in the trial of former Angolan vice president Manuel Vicente has disappointed hopes for a triumph of legal due process over politics and impunity. It also has worrying implications for the independence of Portugal’s judiciary.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media