Luxembourg's ABBL signs public-private partnership to tackle money laundering

Wednesday 21 September 2022 12:13 CET | News

The Association of Banks and Bankers of Luxembourg has partnered with two public financial authorities in a bid to share skills and knowledge to better fight money laundering.


The country’s Financial Intelligence Unit (CRF) and the Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (CSSF) have teamed up with the Association of Banks and Bankers of Luxembourg (ABBL). The alliance, the result of a three-year project, sees the formation of a group of experts made up of representatives of the two regulatory bodies as well as the Chief Financial Officers of financial institutions.

The Association of Banks and Bankers of Luxembourg has partnered with two public financial authorities in a bid to share skills and knowledge to better fight money laundering


How the alliance started and what are its objectives

The alliance will consist of both dialogue and data exchange. The latter will principally concern CRF statistics on the typologies of primary laundering offences, as well as statistics on the primary types of reports of suspicions sent by banks to the CRF.

‘A public-private dialogue of this kind allows us to clarify the risks linked to specific activities, the typologies of crimes and the regulatory expectations, and also aims to identify the specific areas or questions for which more regulatory guidance is necessary,’ said the CSSF in a press release.

The ABBL explained, when contacted by news outlet Paperjam, that it had been involved in talks with the regulatory bodies since 2019, initially due to the first risk evaluation of the private banking sector, but that it has since ‘enlarged discussions to broader themes concerning the whole banking sector.’

Similar initiatives to fight money laundering across the globe

A 2021 report from White & Case noted that as of June 2020, ‘at least 18 countries’ had formed public-private partnerships to fight money laundering. The report notes that while the public and private sector have often informally communicated to combat money laundering, it was the UK which pioneered a more formal approach in 2015, with the formation of the Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce (JMLIT), which as of last year included over 40 financial institutions, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and several law enforcement agencies.

Public-private partnerships against money laundering are being formed elsewhere in the world, too. The CRF’s Dutch counterpart has been forming a ‘Fintel Alliance’ with the country’s banks since February last year, allowing banks and the government to ‘share information and jointly analyse cases,’ according to Hennie Verbeek-Kusters, head of the Dutch financial intelligence unit, as reported by ACAMS

Last week, in a seminar held by the European Court of Auditors (ECA), EU experts demanded the sealing of loopholes in proposed anti-laundering and counter-terrorism financing legislation. ECA President Klaus-Heiner Lehne stated during the seminar, as reported by The Malta Independent, that ‘The EU’s credibility as one of the world’s major economic players depends on the success of its fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.’ 

According to UN figures, the amount of money laundered annually is between 2% and 5% of global GDP- that is, between USD 800 billion and USD 2 trillion.

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Keywords: AML, money laundering, fraud detection, regulation
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Countries: Luxembourg
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime

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