STUDY ON FINANCIAL CRIME FIGHTING DATA

Nicosia, 15 February 2016 – Transparency International announced today a Study titled «Top Secret: Countries keep financial crime fighting data to themselves». Cyprus is included in the Study and presents an improved image.

Transparency International said bank regulators need to publish much more information about whether banks are doing what’s required by law to stop money laundering. This would ensure that citizens and businesses can be confident corrupt individuals and organisations, criminals, or terrorists are not using the global banking system.

A new report from Transparency International shows that Cyprus presents positive results in combating money laundering, in comparison with other countries that are referred in the report. All 12 countries, for which the availability of anti-money laundering data was analysed, are characterised by highly developed financial sectors: Australia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, the UK and the US. Except for Cyprus, they are all members of the FATF, while Cyprus is a member of Moneyval, which is an associated Financial Action Task Force-style regional body (FSRB).

Specifically:

  • «While none of the reviewed countries disclosed data from all five thematic areas, Cyprus and the US disclosed the broadest range of up-to-date anti-money laundering statistics. An important caveat, however, is that in both these countries most indicators are not available directly from national authorities, but via FATF and Moneyval reports». (p.11)
  • «Cyprus and France presented the most complete data sets, covering aspects of monitoring, regulatory breaches and sanctions. No relevant data for the UK were found». (p.13)
  • Cyprus is included in the countries that provided complete or close to complete statistics on Anti-money laundering legal systems and operations (p.13).
  • «Cyprus disclosed the most complete set of anti-money laundering data among the 12 analysed countries, with information available for 14 out of the 20 indicators». (p.16)
  • «The number of supervisory on-site visits in recent years was high, considering the small size of the Cypriot economy. Identified breaches have resulted in fines (170,000 euro and 215,000 euro in 2012 and 2011 respectively; and 5,000 euro in 2013, as the majority of cases were still pending at the time the data were published)». (p.16)
  • «The reported number of criminal investigations on money laundering activities in 2014 was very high. A fifth to a quarter of criminal investigations resulted in prosecution». (p.16)
  • «Cyprus makes and receives a very low number of anti-money laundering related MLA requests, even in relation to the small size of its economy. In 2012 only five outgoing and 26 incoming requests were recorded, which indicates rather under-developed international cooperation». (p.17)
  • «The average time needed to respond to MLA requests has improved to 120 days, down from 150 days in 2010» (p.17).

 

Find the Press Release of Transparency International here.

Find the Report here.