Counter terrorist financing – Are we really stopping the bad guys?
Banks spend billions on sanctions and AML/CTF compliance in an effort to prevent acts of terrorism. Yet while sanctions regimes have arguably seen success as geopolitical tools, the track record in preventing terrorism is far less clear. Recent attacks have demonstrated that terrorist MOs are changing, as small cells and ‘lone wolves’ sow death and destruction without being part of a well-funded network. How can banks – and governments – adapt to stay one step ahead of the bad guys? What is working, and what needs to work better? Are stringent regulations pushing legitimate actors outside of the financial system, without actually preventing acts of violence? How does the need to ensure financial inclusion weigh up against the risks?