Banks are treating suspicious reports as a ‘permission slip’ to look the other way on money-laundering

The files include:

  • SARs pointing to more than $2 trillion in suspicious transactions.
  • SARs submitted to FinCEN by 90 banks and financial institutions.
  • Reports mostly dating from 2011 to 2017.
  • Documents reporting more than 10,000 people and organisations spanning more than 170 countries and territories.
  • SARs that name banks in 25 EU member states as the destination, transit, or origin of suspicious money.

Deutsche Bank

The main new revelations in the FinCEN files about Deutsche Bank include:

Lessons from the FinCEN files

Banks are treating SARs as a form of insurance, or a “permission slip”. They allow clearly criminal activity to carry on, believing that so long as they file an SAR they cannot be held responsible.

Top image from ICIJ.

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