Does privilege really prevent lawyers from reporting money laundering?

In Canada and the US, lawyers are not subject to anti-money laundering reporting obligations like they are in most other countries. One of the most frequent reasons given for this by lawyers is that to require us to report certain financial transactions to a financial intelligence unit is inconsistent with, and would undermine, legal privilege. [...]

The CIA on terrorism and tech

On June 16, 2016, the Director of the CIA testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in respect of the Islamic State (ISIS), terrorism and technology generally. Here is an executive summary: The CIA said there there has never been a time when there is such a “dizzying” array of national security issues and [...]

FinTechs are being derisked out of bank accounts over terrorist financing and money laundering risks says UK study

The Financial Conduct Authority released an interesting soft study on the incidents of derisking affecting companies in the UK and pursuant to the study, MSB, charities and FinTechs are the three business client groups whose bank accounts are most frequently closed because they are too risky for the bank (a practice known as derisking). No [...]

The $200 million a year refugee smuggling operation in Libya

A $200 million a year business and growing  The EU – Turkey deal to close the borders of the EU to refugees and migrants has shifted the human smuggling routes back to Libya. The focus back to Libya means ISIS’ large source of terrorist financing from this activity is flowing again, which may also facilitate [...]

A banker’s update on terrorist financing and money laundering from the US Committee on Homeland Security

Summary of the Updates The US House Committee on Homeland Security released a number of updates and received testimony on the status of terrorist financing, terrorism and money laundering in the last few weeks with some interesting developments relevant to banks in terms of changes in terrorist financing typologies that should be added to anti-money [...]

“Responsible Innovation” – What the coming regulation of FinTech will look like

Financial regulators balance innovation and protection Financial regulators serve two important functions for the financial system. 1. They support growth and innovation where it could improve access to finance, or the delivery of financial services or grow the economy. 2. At the same time,  they  protect consumers and society at large by supervising the financial services [...]

Summary of the 2016 US Threat Assessment

The Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community (the “Report“) prepared by the Director of National Intelligence on February 9, 2016, is a very interesting read from a counter-terrorism perspective, and essential reading for any bank in respect of assessing client and regional risks. Generally, the Report is dead on in respect of the [...]

Canada and the fake refugee passport issue

Fake refugees — A crisis within a crisis It seems to becoming clear that it is not reasonably possible to rely on the identity documents of any persons who claim Syrian or Iraqi refugee status from 2014 onwards, the time in which the Islamic State acquired the capacity to create authentic passports. Since at least [...]

FinTech and Terrorist Financing – a major RegTech issue

The news last month that the couple responsible for the San Bernadino shooting had received a P2P loan for $28,000 from an online lender, Prosper Marketplace, was cause for concern among financial crime regulators. It was cause for concern because some financial regulators were of the view that a typology for terrorist financing is the [...]

France’s top lawyer says there’s no reason to be optimistic on terrorism front

Francois Molins, France’s top prosecutor, says that the risk of terrorism is becoming larger, more multi-faceted and complex. In this interview (en francais), Maitre Molins talks about the threat of terrorism in France and some of the investigation and prosecution challenges in respect of counter-terrorism. No reason for optimism in terrorism Mr. Molins said that [...]