Global banks seek to contain damage over $2 trillion of suspicious transfers

FinCEN documents show how suspicious bank transactions of Indians were red-flagged to top US regulator

FinCEN documents show how suspicious bank transactions of Indians were red-flagged to top US regulator

A cache of over 2,000 suspicious activity reports (SARs) was filed with the authorities by banks who suspected wrongdoing; it reportedly contains allegations that a number of top United Kingdom lenders allowed dirty money into their accounts. The stock has now almost halved since the start of the year.

Shares in Standard Chartered (STAN.L) on the Hong Kong exchange (2888.HK) dropped by over 3% to the lowest since 25 May 2020.

The documents are part of a collection of files that belongs to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, an agency operating under the Treasury Department to detect and prevent financial crimes, and were first published by BuzzFeed News and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

But an analysis of 2,100 SARS obtained by BuzzFeed News, which worked with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and other media organisations, found some reports were filed months after the suspect transactions took place and that often little other follow-up action was taken.

The ICIJ said Manafort's lawyer did not respond to an invitation to comment.

Another financial scandal came out in the public domain as the recently leaked FinCEN Files show how multiple big banks were involved in moving around $2 trillion in illicit funds across the globe between 1999 and 2017. In a declaration Monday in action to the ICIJ report it stated that "starting in 2012, HSBC embarked on a multi-year journey to overhaul its ability to combat financial crime across more than 60 jurisdictions".

United Kingdom at critical point in COVID pandemic, top medical adviser says
The government's scientific advisors have suggested that 4 out of 5 people should quarantine themselves or break the rules. But she added, "It shouldn't have been a few months before finally dropping a dime that low-income people need more help".

"We have devoted significant resources to strengthening our controls and we are very focused on meeting our responsibilities and obligations", a spokesperson for the bank said.

"This brings out the point that managing financial crime risk goes beyond making SARs", said Etelka Bogardi, a Hong Kong-based financial services partner at Norton Rose Fulbright. HSBC and StanChart were among the five banks that appeared most often in the documents, the ICIJ reported.

Investors dumped bank stocks on Monday after a report said nearly all Indian banks were involved in a number of suspicious transactions between 2010 and 2017.

Staff at major banks often used Google searches to learn who was behind large transactions, it said. A day later, HSBC was among global banks named in a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on lenders that "kept profiting from powerful and risky players" in the past two decades even after the US imposed penalties on the institutions.

"It isn't the criminals themselves that launder the money".

FinCen said in a statement on its website on September 1 that it was aware that various media outlets meant to publish a series of articles based on unlawfully disclosed SARs, as well as other documents.

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