16 Sep 2019
Five of the largest Dutch banks are exploring jointly monitoring transactions in the fight against money laundering.
Firms including ING Groep NV, Rabobank and ABN Amro Bank NV are studying whether a joint venture is feasible given “the technical and legal challenges involved,” Dutch banking association NVB said in a statement on Friday. Apart from sharing information about transactions, the banks are also looking to build algorithms together to identify illicit activity, said Christian Bornfeld, chief technology officer at ABN Amro.
“Every bank has a different risk appetite when it comes to things like lending out money, but when it comes to money laundering and terrorist financing, that risk appetite for every bank is simply zero,” Bornfeld said in an interview. “So I think we can operate a single set of algorithms.”
That team spirit is part of an effort to move beyond a series of scandals in Europe that have exposed structural weaknesses in the region’s fight against flows of illicit money. ING — the largest Dutch bank — last year paid 775 million euros ($858 million) to settle an investigation, the largest fine in Dutch corporate history.
A group of Nordic lenders including scandal-ridden Danske Bank A/S said in July they are moving forward with plans to establish a joint venture to develop a platform for handling due-diligence data on customers. The Dutch initiative, by contrast, is about jointly monitoring transactions.
By Ruben Munsterman, Bloomberg, 13 September 2019
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