SWIFT Institute AML/CTF & Privacy Project

Multinational Banking and Conflicts among US-EU AML/CTF Compliance & Privacy Law: Operational & Political Views in Context

(COMPLETED! Published July 2016 – Download the paper via SSRN)

I am pleased to announce the funding for a new project sponsored by The SWIFT Institute.  SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is a member-owned cooperative of institutions across the globe which is dedicated to industry-led solutions to a host of issues that pervade the financial services industries.  The Institute sponsors academic research of interest to its membership and as you can see cross-border compliance and privacy are certainly among its interests.

Research Summary:

The financial services community has confronted increasing demands on its data from government regulators, law enforcement, and national intelligence services because financial information provides essential intelligence to determine weaknesses in the financial system and detect networks of illicit trade and political violence. However, how multinational banks comply with conflicting national Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Finance (AML/CTF) and how these requirements mesh with data protection and privacy laws in different jurisdictions is an understudied area in the financial services. 

This project examines AML/CTF guidelines and privacy laws that govern US-EU data flows to assess how multinational banks handle the contradictions among these requirements and where there might be opportunities for industry cooperation.  It will;

1) illuminate conflicts between  AML/CTF reporting and privacy laws that govern cross-border data flows of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that place banks and their subsidiaries at risk;

2) place AML/CTF reporting in context of political developments like the proposed EU Directive for law enforcement and national security data, and the Safe Harbor regime.

3) Suggest ways forward for the next 2 years.

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