A number of major banks, including Deutsche Bank and the Swiss branch of the British bank HSBC, appear to have entered into questionable transactions with customers already convicted of money laundering. This is evidenced by documents of the U.S. Agency for Financial Crimes FinCEN, which became public thanks to publications of journalists from ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists). What measures can prevent vicious practices in which banks are complicit in concealing criminal fraud and corruption?
We need a European Finance Sheriff!
According to the newspaper Taz, such a practice should be fought against at the European level:
“We need European financial policy, the creation of which is insisted on by a group of MEPs headed by Green Sven Gingold — and harsher penalties! Anyone who, figuratively speaking, carries suitcases of money to criminals is guilty of obstructing justice and aiding and abetting. And if these charges cannot be brought against individuals, then the entire organization must be punished, and so severely that money laundering as a business model is no longer possible. But to deprive banks of their licenses, as required by the SPD, is just a populist chatter, because criminal banks, operating on a global scale, due to their influence and confusion of the device are protected from this.
Obstacle — bank secrecy
Gazeta Wyborcza notes with regret that little is known about this practice in Poland — and it is unlikely to be made public:
“A great many reports have already been written about why Russian oligarchs are trying to legalize their dirty deals in Latvia or Estonia. All these reports emphasize that the Baltic states are such an attractive place for such machinations precisely because they have a well-developed banking system, stable economy, and — most importantly — a powerful Russian diaspora… The problem is that the first two signs are also evident in Poland. So, is there any reason to believe that this practice is not implemented in Poland either? One of the FinCEN documents, available to our editorial office, confirms that money from the former USSR countries is also laundered on the banks of the Vistula. We just don’t know much about it: everything is under a reliable cover of financial and bank secrecy.