A seismic rumbling occurred recently in the field of anti-money laundering – one that portends a tectonic shift in the way in which money is laundered around the world.
It’s a shift that also hopefully, finally, brings an end to the merry-go-round of international gamesmanship played by the largest money-laundering centres of the world.
If Switzerland isn’t made nervous by this, it has seriously missed the memo.
As is the way of paradigm shifts, the impetus has come from way outside of the usual players.
The United Nations, having largely left international anti-money laundering policy-setting to the OECD-housed Financial Action Task Force (‘FATF’) for the last 30 years, has weighed-in.
Its reason for taking up this cause? The absolute impossibility of achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development while trillions of dollars continue to flow out of developing countries into developed ones – facilitated by opaque legal arrangements and euphemistically-named offerings such as discretionary trusts, international business companies, and captive insurance companies – all sold and serviced by the money laundering-havens of the world.
The United Nations has announced its arrival in this squabble through the publication of 14 Recommendations by the ‘High Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda’ (or the ‘FACTI Panel’ for short).
The FACTI Panel Recommendations were launched on 25 February this year, by none other than the President of the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Secretary-General. The involvement of these two sends a rather pointed message that this is a topic that the United Nations is taking very, very seriously.