Illicit Financial Flows
Mapping networks, analyzing tools, disrupting flows
The financing of terrorism, tax evasion, laundering the proceeds of organized crime and corruption, amongst other criminal activities, all contribute to the vast amounts of illicit money and capital being moved through the international banking and trade system every year. With approximately $1 trillion flowing out of developing economies alone, these flows not only help to fund illegal activities and criminal organizations but also hinder much-needed economic growth and help to perpetuate conflicts around the world.
Which channels are being utilized to move this capital, and how can they be disrupted? What role should public and private actors play in preventing illicit financial flows, and what strategies have proved most effective?
This conference will deliver expert insights from senior policy-makers and key stakeholders, with an assessment of the evolution of illicit finance worldwide, an examination of the specific methods and networks utilized, and an evaluation of the effectiveness of potential solutions.
Key questions to be addressed include:
- What exactly are illicit financial flows? What should the term encompass?
- How can authorities and businesses accurately map money laundering networks globally? Where exactly is illicit finance coming from, and where is it going?
- What are the specific tools that facilitate illicit flows? How effective are different regulatory and industry measures in combating them? How can enforcement be strengthened?
- What are the roles of different public and private actors in this space and what are their current responsibilities? How should roles and responsibilities be attributed?
- How can governments and businesses work together to achieve greater transparency in the international financial system? How critical is information sharing?
- To what extents are illicit financial flows tackled ‘after the fact’? Should attention be shifted towards tackling the sources, rather than the flows?
The Chatham House Rule
To enable as open a debate as possible, this conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule.
For conference updates follow #CH_IllicitFlows
Register by Friday 17 March 2017 to benefit from the early booking rate.
For any questions about which rate applies to you, please call Alex Cook on +44 (0)207 957 5727
EARLY RATE (+VAT):
|FULL RATE (+VAT): |
AFTER 17 MARCH
|Major corporate members|
|Standard corporate members|
|NGOs and academics||£380||£460|
|NGOs and academics||£440||£510|
Monday 15 May
Overview | Illicit Financial Flows Today
From the funding of terrorist organizations to the revelations in the Panama Papers, events of recent months have propelled awareness of illicit finance and the networks through which it flows to the forefront of public consciousness. Which examples have been most significant and why? What will be the long-term significance of greater understanding of illicit flows? What does it reveal about the challenges in combating them?
Session One | Mapping Networks
This session will focus on mapping illicit finance networks globally, assessing the need for greater transparency and identifying strategies to aid disruption.
- Where are flows coming from globally, and where are they going? What are the implications of this for developing and developed states in terms of their responsibilities for combating illicit flows?
- What are the consequences of illicit capital flight for developing countries? How effective have international responses, including those from OECD member states, been to this outflow, and how can these be improved?
- What portion of illicit financial flows is linked to corruption? How can a better understanding of this help to shape more effective prevention strategies? Is there a need for expansion beyond typical anti-money laundering (AML) measures?
- What is the risk that prevention measures within financial systems may unintentionally deepen financial exclusion, particularly in developing economies? How can this risk be ameliorated?
- What are the links between organized crime and terrorist financing and does there need to be a more holistic approach and systemic analysis when mapping global illicit finance networks?
- To what extent is asset recovery a priority over crime prevention, and what challenges does this present?
- Is the capacity of the private sector to combat illicit financial flows adequate or underutilized? What avenues exist for deeper public–private cooperation?
Session Two | The Banking System and Financial Institutions
This session will explore the role and responsibilities of banking and financial institutions in curbing the flow of illicit finance, the implications of recent legislation, the need for information sharing and further avenues for cooperation.
- What are the roles and responsibilities of banking and financial institutions in preventing illicit financial flows? In contrast to law enforcement and policy-making bodies, what obligations should be met by the international financial system and what are the current barriers to meeting these obligations?
- To what extent is greater information sharing the main priority towards increasing transparency, disrupting flows and unlocking great co-operation? How do information gathering processes need to be improved and how can public and private actors work together to achieve this?
- How do methods for countering illicit finance influence the ability to conduct finance regionally? How do due diligence and on-boarding costs, for example, affect economic activity in the developing world?
- What banking measures and practices, such as ‘Know Your Customer’ and ‘Customer Due Diligence’ have seen the greatest successes in preventing illicit financial flows and monitoring suspicious activity? Have there been trade-offs, for example in de-risking behaviours?
- How will evolving policy developments, such as the UK’s Criminal Finance Bill, affect the obligations of financial institutions? How can institutions and Financial Intelligence Units work together to strengthen enforcement and foster a compliance culture?
Session Three | Illegal Trade
This session will examine forms of illegal trade and challenges for identifying illicit trading practices to improve global disruption strategies, as well as regulatory developments and their effectiveness.
- What are the most significant forms of illegal trade, such as wildlife, minerals, cigarettes and people trafficking? What are the ‘new blood diamonds’, and how can their movement be disrupted?
- What responsibilities and duty of care do corporations have in this space? What are the implications of recent legislation, such as the Modern Slavery Act?
- What proportion of illicit financial flows is comprised of trade misinvoicing and mispricing? Why is this so difficult to detect with traditional methods such as electronic screening, and what other methods have seen greater success?
- What specific strategies and financial vehicles have recently been employed to avoid trade sanctions? How can these be disrupted?
- What is the role of free-trade zones in facilitating illegal trade? Can the first be fostered without aiding the latter?
1730 End of conference and reception hosted by Chatham House
© The Royal Institute of International Affairs 2016
Raymond W. Baker
President, Global Financial Integrity
Director, Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, RUSI
Chief Compliance Officer, Western Union
Director, Economic Crime, National Crime Agency
Emile Van Der Does De Willebois
Global Lead for Financial Market Integrity, Finance & Markets, The World Bank
Juan Manuel Vega-Serrano
President, Financial Action Task Force
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event please contact Ben Cumming on +44 (0) 20 7957 5729.
If you are interested in becoming a media partner for this event please contact Amy Smith on +44 (0)20 7957 5755.
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