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Banks worldwide sharply hike spending to combat money laundering

Banks around the world have spent an average of 58 per cent more to combat money laundering over the last three years, a survey said Monday.

Senior managers are focusing more on anti-money laundering measures, said the latest KPMG International study based on 224 banks from 55 countries. Spending rose by 71 per cent in North America, the highest, and 70 per cent in the Middle East and Africa.

Compliance costs by banks increased 60 per cent in Russia, 59 per cent in Central and South America, 58 per cent in Europe and 37 per cent in Asia, said the findings commissioned by the Swiss cooperative. Money laundering flows each year by drug dealers, arms traffickers and other criminals are estimated to exceed 1 trillion US dollars.

Compliance with anti-money laundering standards is considered a top priority by senior management, including the boards of directors of banks. Of those surveyed, 71 per cent said that their top executives take an active interest, compared with 61 per cent in 2004. Banks expect to spend nearly 34 per cent more over the next three years on measures such as monitoring transactions and training staff to fight money laundering, the survey said.

Source: The Nation
Date: 16.07.2007 [57]
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