20200927 The FinCEN Files - misleading the public and benefiting from criminal conduct: Page 8 of 10

20200927 The FinCEN Files - misleading the public and benefiting from criminal conduct

Nigel Morris-Cotterill

There is, at present, a state of excitement amongst the media, some financial crime consultants and some politicians in response to what they are being told is public opinion.

The so-called FinCEN Files were heavily telegraphed in a media blitz more akin to the launch of a Hollywood film that has cost a fortune but the result isn't as good as was hoped.

In the USA and the UK, mainstream media outlets have published a series of articles that, they say, arise because of what it has found in documents obtained from the USA's Financial Intelligence Unit, FinCEN.

There's not much that we didn't already know

The articles are based on SARS that are at least three years old. The cases that they refer to have, for the most part, been in the public purview during that time. Yes, there are more details and - this might surprise you - the actual investigative research that has been published is high quality and there are some things that are new.
I'm not critical of the carrying of reports: much of it is genuinely educational both within the financial sector and the public at large. If we take the illegally obtained data and prejudicial reporting out of the equation, it's a bloody good campaign.

Those who imagine that a wholesale revision of practices will result are deluded: the regulatory regimes are convoluted and sluggish. So are laws. And because of that, so are the policies and procedures in financial institutions.

Agile they are not and nor can they be unless the legal and regulatory regimes are enormously simplified.

That's not what legislators and regulators do. Add in other groups that claim some form of leadership and there's no chance that any business can deal with everything.

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