Central Bank says borders should not prevent global criminal investigations

‘If borders are not a barrier to criminals they must not be a barrier to effective global criminal investigations either’

Derville Rowland: “The laundering of the proceeds of crime is a key enabler of most serious and organised crime.”  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Derville Rowland: “The laundering of the proceeds of crime is a key enabler of most serious and organised crime.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Borders should not be a barrier to effective global criminal investigations, the Central Bank’s director general of financial conduct Derville Rowland said.

Speaking at the International Fraud Prevention Conference on Wednesday, Ms Rowland welcomed the European Commission Anti-Money Laundering Action Plan, saying it would eliminate gaps that could potentially be exploited by criminals and ensure the rules were consistently applied.

“The laundering of the proceeds of crime is a key enabler of most serious and organised crime. Effective anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism regimes are essential to protect the integrity of the global financial system,” Ms Rowland said.

“Given the global nature of the financial crime networks, any initiatives that will support cross-border co-operation and information-sharing amongst law enforcement authorities is to be welcomed. If borders are not a barrier to criminals they must not be a barrier to effective global criminal investigations either.”

Six pillars

The European Commission adopted an action plan for a comprehensive policy on preventing money laundering and terrorism financing in May last year. Among its six pillars were EU-level supervision, a single rulebook and the effective implementation of existing rules.

Ms Rowland said both public and private organisations required a legislative basis, providing powers and necessary gateways to facilitate the sharing and use of intelligence and information, as no one organisation had the information or intelligence necessary to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

“We can’t wipe out financial crime – any more than we can wipe out car-theft, shoplifting or burglary. But what we can do, and hopefully what the action plan will enable us to do, is to become as effective as possible at greatly reducing its prevalence and impact.”