Global Threat Assessment
by John Cusack
Despite the limitations presented in estimating criminal activity designed to be hidden, the results in the Global Threat Assessment present a bleak picture.
Criminal markets are generating more illicit funds than at any other time in our history, with ever more harmful effects inflicted against every Country, against billions of people and against our increasingly fragile environment.
We are witnessing the transformation of organised crime into very big business, leveraging networks to connect criminal actors, adopting poly criminality, embracing new cyber tools and opportunities afforded by the transformation to digital.
How big, which Countries, by what Methods and by which Gangs, is summarised in this Global Threat Assessment, using over 100 publicly available studies or reports from credible sources, together with personal observations and recommendations from the author.
In this interview with Wendy Ennis, FCC Head at new virtual Bank “Mox” in Hong Kong, Financial Crime News wanted to hear about Wendy’s journey from an established large Bank and team to a new startup and virtual Bank, the opportunities challenges and the experience along the way.
Q1 What is Mox?
Mox is the Hong Kong virtual bank backed by Standard Chartered, in partnership with HKT, PCCW and Trip.com. We have the combined power of a well-trusted international banking group, Hong Kong’s telecom and lifestyle market leader and Asia’s largest online travel agency. Our aim is to deliver a suite of retail financial services as well as lifestyle benefits all in one place, growing your money, your world and your possibilities.
In November, 2019, Standard Chartered Bank announced that it had joined forces with Quantexa to boost further their approach to fighting financial crime. In this conversation with SCB’s Head of Financial Crime Strategy & Innovation, Praveen Jain, and Quantexa’s CEO Vishal Marria, Financial Crime News probes deeper into the “why”, the “what” and the “how” to provide insights into an “industry first” and why it’s important.
FCN: What was the problem and what was the solution?
PJ: SCB was looking for a best in class solution to support its more than a thousand investigators in its hubs as well as in its Global Financial Intelligence Unit conducting complex financial investigations generated from processing over a billion transactions a year.
In this Interview with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s Stewart McGlynn, who leads the Regulators Anti Money Laundering Team, Financial Crime News wanted to know more about HK, the risks and threats, de risking, the recent FATF Report, follow up actions, Regtech, PPP and much more besides. The interview reveals that HK has achieved a lot but also has plans to do more, much of which is exciting and offers the prospects for increased efficiency and effectiveness in fighting financial crime.
FCN: HK is one of the largest and most respected international financial and trading centres, but what attributes do you think are necessary to build and maintain this reputation?
SM: There are several key attributes which overlap to some degree and which can be related directly to anti-money laundering work.
FI’s face the challenge of monitoring billions of transactions, identifying potential suspicious activity and then handing these cases over to armies of investigators. With a SAR being filed every 30 seconds Financial Crime News met with Caspian CEO and Founder Chris Brannigan to hear how Caspian can help make a difference.
1. FCN: What can you tell us about your company and your products & services?
CB: At Caspian our area of expertise is in the automated investigation of high volume, complex risk alerts for financial service firms with a fully explained human readable decision. So, we are not in the business of generating alerts for suspicious behaviours in KYC, transaction monitoring or due diligence, many other machine learning companies do that already.
In this Interview, Sarah Runge, formerly of the US Treasury Department, and now with Credit Suisse talks to Financial Crime News, including on how she rates the US Presidency (of FATF), challenges faced in Europe (and elsewhere), AML Reform and her optimism for the future.
FCN – What are you doing now – The fighting financial crime community knows you best in your former roles in the US Government so now you are at Credit Suisse, what does that involve?
SR: I am in a newly created role which dually reports to the Global Head of FCC and Global Head of Regulatory Affairs. The function is responsible for developing and implementing a centralized and coordinated view of FCC regulatory engagements, developing a consistent communication approach for our interactions with regulators, building a global inventory of relevant FCC regulations, guidance, enforcement actions & industry developments, and ensuring Credit Suisse is engaged in law enforcement and intelligence innovation opportunities.
In this Interview, Financial Crime News caught up with Graham Hooper, just after the announcement that he had been awarded an OBE for his services to fighting financial crime. No one deserves such an honour more than Graeme. Graeme talks about what he’s doing now, his role in helping to drive change via Public Private Partnerships, the Convergence of Fraud and Financial Crime, challenges for Heads of FCC as well as his one wish for the future in this space.
Graham Hooper has over 35 years experience of developing and implementing security and financial crime prevention strategies in both public and private sectors. He retired from Lloyds Banking Group in December 2017 where he was Financial Crime Risk Director and Deputy Group MLRO.
On a recent visit to South Africa, Financial Crime News was delighted to meet with Nic Swingler Head Financial Crime Compliance at Absa Group Limited, who in an interview discussed the fight against financial crime on the African continent and in South Africa in particular.
FCN: How did you come into your current role?
NS: I am not a Financial Crime “lifer” and this role was not really part of my early career planning! Previously I was the COO for our Corporate & Investment Bank. The front line experience I gained over many years as well as direct exposure to products, operations, technology platforms and data were amongst the key attributes required to enable and deliver a high quality risk management capability across Financial Crime Compliance.
FCC Leaders Interview: Assurance & Testing – An Interview with Natalie Merrylees
Financial Crime News sat down with Natalie Merrylees to discuss her thoughts on the purpose, challenges, opportunities and the future of Assurance, as well as the importance of trying to identify “hotspots. weak spots and blindspots,” the use of technology, regulatory expectations and much more besides.
FCN: What is the purpose of Assurance?
NM: Assurance provides a semi independent spotlight to reconfirm whatever needs to stay working, is working, or alternatively, is a whistle to gain attention when problems are Identified or aren’t being fixed. In many organisations right now, this role is one of oversight of the firm’s policies and procedures, working to a defined framework and method, and taking its baseline data from the Firms own risk assessment activity
FCN: What do you mean by Semi-Independent
NM: By Semi Independent I mean, we are part of the second line of defence that provides a programme of ongoing monitoring and testing of both the business’s financial crime controls, some of which are carried out of course in the second line.