Money Laundering Still Rife

A Fraud and money laundering prevention strategist says the banking institution is still not free from the schemes of money launderers. Richard Kumadoe also called for the adoption of necessary measures to stem the trend. “Private banking services can easily be vulnerable to money laundering schemes and past and present prosecutions, penalties and sanctions against some of the world’s major financial institutions across the globe have demonstrated that vulnerability.” Mr. Kumadoe told City & Business yesterday that the consequences of money laundering and other schemes were dire and that banks must move to make it impossible for such activities to thrive. If criminals are able to outwit financial institutions in advanced economies where there are sophisticated equipment to check such schemes then the banks on the continent must collaborate to tackle the menace, he indicated. He said for instance recent sanctions and fines imposed on Standard Chartered and HSBC Banks by the U.S Federal sub-committee on money laundering were classic cases that must encourage banks to conduct due diligence. Mr. Kumadoe cited the Barclays Bank forgery of the libor rates and the subsequent hefty fines by the UK financial services authority as another situation in which the banking institutions could be said to be vulnerable. “Banking, over the years, has become an increasingly important business line and also a source of an enhanced income for large and diverse financial institutions across the globe therefore privacy and confidentiality are key elements of banking relationships.” He said unlawful activities through private banking lead to momentous financial loss, reputational risk and regulatory sanctions. “In recent times when some of the world’s major financial institutions have been found guilty of being used as conduits for money laundering, it becomes imperative for financial institutions in Ghana and the Sub-Sahara Africa to prioritize training and education for staff and enforce appropriate KYC/CDD procedures and processes for clients who access private banking.” Mr. Kumadoe said effective policies, procedures and processes could help protect financial institutions in the region from becoming conduits for or victims of money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes.