The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has called for a greater focus on public-private partnerships as “talk must move to action” to tackle the problem of de-risking in the Pacific region. Anti-money laundering experts have warned that an effective financial crime compliance regime will be essential to rebuild the fragile payment corridors in the Pacific islands. They said partnerships, technology and the collection and sharing of data needed to be prioritised to improve cross-border intelligence and analysis.
The observations were published in an ADB briefing paper on “Financial Crimes Compliance: The Power of Partnerships”. The paper incorporated the key findings from a five-day workshop held in December last year with more than 400 participants across the Asia-Pacific region, including banks, financial intelligence units (FIUs), government officials and regulators.
The report said that policymakers needed to have a deeper understanding of operational and transaction realities and encourage a stronger focus on collecting, sharing and pursuing actionable intelligence.
“Money laundering, terrorism financing, and financial crime compliance are critical issues affecting trade and trade finance both globally and in Asia and the Pacific,” the report said.
“Asia and the Pacific is particularly vulnerable to ‘de-risking’, where regional and international banks withdraw due to commercial drivers and (perceived) risks of financial crime.”
The report found that a broader rollout of public–private partnerships such as Australia’s Fintel Alliance would improve the detection and prosecution of financial crimes.
“Partnerships, technology, and the collection and sharing of data need to be emphasized to enhance cross-border intelligence and analysis,” the report said.
“Talk must move to action, with an understanding of operational and transaction realities and a focus on collecting, sharing and pursuing actionable intelligence.”
Written by Nathan Lynch, Managing Editor, Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence, APAC