Financial crime has become a global concern, affecting large organisations, governments, financial institutions, businesses and individuals.
The prevention and detection of financial crime is a major challenge as the impact can be felt in various ways – monetary losses, regulatory penalties, damage to reputation or employee morale, and hampered business relations. Financial crime is also found to aid and abet terror financing, and dent economic development of nations.
While governments and regulatory authorities are constantly looking at ways to monitor and check financial crime, criminals are developing innovative tactics to stay ahead of the game. There is no single model for how financial criminals work. Their activities span a broad spectrum of society and can range from the crude to the highly sophisticated. Financial crime threatens the safety and soundness of financial systems worldwide. In some cases, these crimes threaten the security and safety of the nation, as seen in the Canada.
So it is incumbent upon institutions and businesses to safeguard their interests against the harmful outcomes of financial crime.
Financial crimes refer to:
a) activities that generate wealth by unlawful or dishonest means, or
b) transactions meant to conceal the proceeds of crime, in order to place the proceeds beyond the reach of the law.
Economic motivation is the prime consideration. It involves abuse of trust, deceit, subterfuge, or active manipulation with the sole intention of exploiting vulnerabilities in the system and make money, launder illicit funds, facilitate or disguise criminal activity or launder the proceeds of crime.
Types of Financial Crime
Financial crimes can be activities carried out by individuals or larger and more organised groups. They can take the form of bribery, corruption, extortion, financial fraud, college admission frauds, tax evasion, electronic or cyber crime, market abuse, credit card fraud, forgery, embezzlement, identity theft, Ponzi schemes, money laundering, terror financing, and so on. Financial crime also includes transactions meant to conceal the proceeds of illegal or unlawful activities like drugs and wilful suppression of sources of income.
How does it impact you
Individuals, organisations and economies too, can suffer the effects of serious financial crime. The impacts of financial crime can affect you as an individual, damage reputation, result in a loss of consumer or investor confidence, affect the brand image of a company and even reduce a country’s ability to attract foreign investment. Where non-compliance has resulted in financial crime, it can also impact the bottom line with high penalties and loss of reputation as seen for various banking organisations in recent times.
Financial Crime Compliance
The international fight against financial crime is necessary to protect a country’s market, financial institutions and businesses, from the negative impacts as mentioned above. This also helps alleviate the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing incidents.
As financial crimes take different forms, and often occur in real-time across geographies and borders, the compliance systems have also become automated. Software-as-a-service compliance with real-time watchlist screening systems against databases has emerged as a robust mechanism to guard against financial crimes. Thus, KYC, OCDD, ECDD, Sanctions and PEP Screening, Adverse Media Checks and IDV, are part of the automated compliance screening frameworks in use for managing and preventing financial crimes.
NameScan provides a SAAS solution for PEP and sanction screening. Check out the free PEP check here and free sanction tool here.