The act of money laundering is a global problem that affects all the world’s financial sectors, and those professional firms that operate in all the various countries. The criminal or terrorist does not respect international boundaries; in fact they thrive on the vast differences between different jurisdictions. This ‘global financial village’ gives the criminal almost unlimited access to a vast variety of products and an array of methods and opportunities to launder money.
It is truly an international problem that requires international co-operation, we have to appreciate that the global solution is only as good as the weakest link in international legislation and compliance.
Money moving around the world in the normal course of everyday people’s affairs is now a common occurrence. Our greater ethnic diversity, more UK expatriates operating abroad, the increase in the size of the EU, even to the rental operations of foreign holiday homes has led to an increased volume of smaller ‘businesses and individuals’ dealing in foreign transactions.
There are many ways to move, convert or transfer funds between jurisdictions, some more regulated than others. The sheer volume of transactions makes it easier for the criminal to hide his funds.
Our wealth and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the UK is largely dependant on our financial services sector. This highly regulated sector is a world leader, money flowing from the UK is perceived to be good money, clean money. This makes the UK financial sector and those professionals that support it, a perfect place to be targeted by the money launderer.
It is then because of our excellence of service and our growth that the UK needs an AML strategy. The financial sector will be targeted, both by international and home grown organisations and individuals. It is then to help protect our standards, our morals, our way of life and protect the wealth of all, that the UK adopts such stringent Regulations.