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Responsible Selling

Tackling financial crime

In the face of the challenging economic conditions of 2009, the integrity of the banking system has never been more important. It is clearly in the interests of banks themselves to reduce fraud and avoid being used for criminal activity.

Banks are also in a unique position to support the efforts of governments and local communities in tackling crime and the corrosive effects it has on the economies in which they operate. Corruption prevents people sharing fairly in the wealth generated by business. Moreover, economies cannot flourish if money is diverted illegally, as it impacts both tax revenues and governments' ability to earn valuable foreign exchange.

The risks and challenges are constantly changing - the controls used by banks have to be dynamic and responsive. Fraud levels can be affected by an economic downturn, money launderers develop new schemes to disguise the proceeds of crime and government lists of suspect terrorists change on a regular basis.

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated that money laundering equates to between two and five per cent of global gross domestic product
  • "Global financial stability hinges on collective action at the international level, but also on effective national systems. Robust anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism regimes are an important pillar of the international regulatory and supervisory system and part and parcel of the current efforts to strengthen the global financial framework." Murilo Portugal, Deputy Managing Director of the IMF
  • In the UK alone, losses from fraud, covering everything from tax evasion to the use of counterfeit credit cards, are estimated at $50 billion a year (Source: National Fraud Authority report January 2010).

The need for effective partnership between the industry, law enforcement agencies and governments has never been greater - it is a partnership to which we at Standard Chartered are committed.

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Annual Report and Accounts 2009