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Banking Consortium Calls for Enhanced Collaboration to Combat Terrorist Financing

A prominent banking consortium has issued a call for stronger collaboration between law enforcement agencies and financial institutions to combat terrorist financing effectively.


Banking Consortium Calls for Enhanced Collaboration to Combat Terrorist Financing

Representing a coalition of 12 major global banks, the Wolfsberg Group is advocating for a coordinated approach to sharing information on suspected terrorists and terrorist organizations across jurisdictions. They emphasize the need for official lists of suspects to be provided by competent authorities globally.


In addition to seeking feedback from law enforcement on the usefulness of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), the consortium is pushing for enhanced information sharing among financial institutions regarding suspicious transactions. They urge financial institutions to share actionable information securely with each other to prevent or detect terrorist financing.


The group emphasizes the importance of maintaining relevant information within their own databases and sharing it within their groups, while also calling for protection from civil liability for relying on such information, where currently unavailable.


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These calls are part of a broader effort by the Wolfsberg Group to strengthen public-private partnerships in anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). They stress the need to balance risk mitigating activities with access to financial services for individuals and communities.


Furthermore, the consortium advocates for cooperation with trusted private sector partners and encourages working with law enforcement and government agencies to combat terrorism financing. They highlight the importance of including appropriate details in terror suspect lists to assist financial institutions in efficiently searching their customer bases.


Additionally, the group calls for law enforcement to provide feedback on SARs related to terrorist financing and the provision of actionable intelligence to identify suspicious transactions. They emphasize the importance of training staff to recognize terrorist finance typologies and financing methods.


In terms of regulatory frameworks, the Wolfsberg Group stresses the need for permitting financial institutions to maintain information relevant to mitigating terrorist financing risk within their databases and sharing it within their groups. They also call for facilitating the reporting of suspicious transactions related to terrorism to relevant authorities without breaching customer confidentiality.


Regarding customer due diligence (CDD) policies and procedures, the group emphasizes the importance of proper identification and verification of customers and beneficial owners, as well as ongoing monitoring against sanctions lists. They stress the need for reporting positive matches from screenings against lists of known or suspected terrorists or terrorist organizations.


Recognizing the challenges in identifying financial transactions linked to terrorism financing, the group supports the continued development of monitoring processes and other methods for identifying suspicious transactions. They emphasize the importance of screening customer names and transactions against sanctions and other relevant lists.


The Wolfsberg Group comprises 12 members, including Banco Santander, Bank of America, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Chase, MUFG Bank, Société Générale, Standard Chartered Bank, and UBS. They are headquartered in Switzerland and are committed to combating terrorist financing through collaborative efforts with law enforcement and government agencies.

By fLEXI tEAM

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