Tackling financial crime

All banks are highly committed to tackling financial crime because it affects every market, no matter how sophisticated, and it has wide implications beyond financial losses. Victims range from global organisations to individuals. Communities and whole economies can suffer.

New technology constantly improves security but it also provides criminals with new opportunities. For example, emails disguised as being from banks and other official organisations (known as phishing) are frequently used to steal personal information such as account details and passwords.

“Financial crime is a major concern in India. How do you contain this in a country that is developing?”Annapurna Vancheswaran,
TERI, India

We work hard to minimise the damage criminals can inflict on our customers, our communities and our business. In 2008, our effort on anti-money laundering (AML) and countering terrorist financing (CTF) continued to recognise the risk these areas present in the 21st century. We launched a new Group strategy to tackle money laundering and extended the use of Norkom, our AML system for identifying suspicious transactions. We also introduced an improved system to screen all new accounts for potential criminals and terrorists who are subject to financial sanctions.

In addition, we have done extensive work on fraud prevention. Our new detection system has been successful in tackling credit card fraud and we will continue to deploy it in our markets in 2009.

We have also reviewed how we guard against the threat of bribery and corruption and will further strengthen our defences in 2009 to meet the commitments of a new Group Anti-Corruption Policy.

Across all these areas, employees are crucial to our defences against crime. They are encouraged to use our ‘Speaking Up’ programme to report potential cases of unethical behaviour, by our staff or by others.

Training staff to deal with the risks of crime is one of the most effective tools in fighting criminals. To this end, we improved staff AML and anti-corruption training during 2008.

Highlights

  • Launched a refreshed Group Code of Conduct which includes anti-corruption training
  • 12,000staff able to screen new accounts
  • 640 per centincrease in internet fraud incidents investigated