Illicit financial flows 2021

Financial crime experts from business and policy convene to explore the impacts of illicit finance and address gaps in regulation and enforcement.

1 March 2021 TO 2 March 2021 — 1:00PM TO 5:00PM

Facilitating partnerships to combat financial crime

The 2021 Illicit Financial Flows LIVE conference will explore the ‘real-world’ impact of illicit finance, the situation surrounding the regulation and enforcement of financial crime and address the barriers that are in place which impede public-private partnerships from effectively collaborating. 

This two-day conference is part of our virtual LIVE series which connects international audiences and enables participants to engage in high-level panel discussions. Designed to provide a highly engaging online experience, key features include 1:1 networking, polling, Q&A with expert speakers and a live analysis of the results.



Monday 1 March (GMT – timings subject to change)

Opening keynote

David Lewis, Executive Secretary, Financial Action Task Force



This opening session explores the current state of illicit finance regulation in both the public and private sectors and seeks to identify weaknesses which could be addressed with enhanced cooperation. 

  • What have been the most significant events in the world of illicit finance in the last year? 

  • Has the coronavirus crisis increased criminal activity?

  • Should we still consider SARs an effective reporting technique? 

  • How effectively have existing policy measures seized and repatriated illicit finance and protected victims of financial crime?

  • What are the necessary separate roles of the public sector and the private sector when combatting financial crime? 

  • Do the FinCen Files demonstrate the weaknesses in the anti-money laundering system?

  • How do regulatory frameworks address illicit financial flows and what challenges exist when designing them? 

  • How has the UK government’s focus on fraud developed and should fraud be more central in national security considerations?


Networking break


Combatting financial crime: the role of the third sector and media

Discussing the role of the third sector and the media in combatting illicit finance and how their work can be used to generate greater transparency and accountability. 

  • What are some examples of the influence of civil society on combatting financial crime? 

  • What is the role of these organizations in shaping public understanding of the effect of financial crime? 

  • How can effective partnerships be enabled between the third sector, the media and law enforcement? 

  • How can policy and regulations empower civil society to achieve these goals?


Networking break


Technology and public-private partnerships

Exploring the impact of technology in fighting financial crime and discussing its use to deepen and strengthen public-private partnerships.

  • Are there identifiable best practices for fighting financial crime in different sectors? 

  • How can private businesses contribute to law enforcement efforts?

  • How can public-private partnerships be enhanced to ensure valuable coordination between law enforcement, policymakers, regulators and financial institutions? 

  • Can technology maximize transparency but still protect privacy? 

  • How can regulations be adapted to embrace the capability of technology and utilize work being done by private industry?


End of day one


Tuesday 2 March (GMT – timings subject to change)

The victims of financial crime

This session spotlights the victims of financial crime and discusses steps that can be taken by industry and governments to mitigate its ‘real-world’ impact.

  • What do the victims of financial crime look like? 

  • How do illicit actors operate across networks and areas of financial crime? 

  • How has COVID-19 contributed to an increase in fraudulent schemes and how has it impacted victims?

  • How can commercial businesses raise industry standards and act as a force for good? 

  • What is the role of government and non-governmental organizations in raising public awareness of the victims of financial crime? 

  • How can human rights legislation be effectively employed?

  • How can regulation standards, judicial and legislative frameworks and enforcement processes benefit from deeper public-private partnerships?


Networking break


Financial inclusion

Discussing how the outbreak of COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way financial services operate. 

  • How have restrictions during the pandemic impacted people’s access to finance? 

  • Have these conditions limited financial inclusion and increased the likelihood of fraud? 

  • Can those responsible for supervising and regulating financial services strike a balance between access and protection? 

  • How can supervisors ensure that any risk-based approach to oversight incorporates financial inclusion and access? 


Networking break


In conversation: the role of fintech

Are companies able to ensure that they can detect fraudulent transactions in light of an increasing volume of online payments during the COVID-19 pandemic and especially given the remote working scenarios of employees?


Malign influence

Exploring how illicit finance impacts trust in institutions, regulations and democracy and how this is reflected in current events. 

  • How is illicit finance undermining trust in global institutions? 

  • What is the impact of foreign bribery on public trust? 

  • Where has the influence of illicit finance been connected to ongoing political developments? 

  • How can a balance be reached between an open economy and the security challenge of dubious financial flows? 

  • Do current regulations enable the enablers and, if so, can this be addressed?   


End of day two



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