Efforts to combat trade-based money laundering (TBML) are currently stymied by countries unable or unwilling to provide data in trade finance transactions according to an associate director at Accuity, a solutions provider for compliant transactions, bank counterparty insight and anti-money laundering (AML).

Colin Wood argues that the cross-border co-operation model that would provide a framework for the exchange of information on entities engaged in international trade is currently unavailable to the global compliance community, with some government agencies willing to accept other countries data but not offering reciprocation.

One-way street

This status quo has effectively created a “one-way street” scenario that benefits only a select few says Wood.

He says this lessens the global concerted effort to combat trade finance related money laundering and is a subject that the compliance industry as a whole should be urgently addressing.

Fragmented process

Describing how trade finance processing is fragmented and often practiced in isolation however, he recommends a centralised trade database could be the answer to sharing information on a wide range of trade activities and any nefarious entities involved.

Wood recommends the database should be accessible by regulatory authorities, law enforcement agencies and intelligence units working in financial institutions around the world.

Reciprocal intelligence

Intelligence on known or suspected entities that use trade finance as a vehicle to launder money should be shared multilaterally throughout the compliance/AML community in order to support the consistent and effective monitoring of trades.

The data could be stored on a single information platform where investigation units and regulatory authorities could enter new and updated information on known, or suspected entities onto the system.

The full article by Colin Wood can be found here.