Press release | Sept. 21, 2020

Global Witness response to the ‘FinCEN files’ leaks

Our response to the ‘FinCEN files’, a new exposé from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and Buzzfeed News that reveals major flaws in the global anti-money laundering safeguards and spotlights trillions of dollars in dirty money flowing freely through major international banks:

“The FinCEN leaks show how the world’s biggest banks have been moving billions of dollars of dirty cash - and four years since the Panama Papers exposed just how central the UK’s tax havens were to global money laundering, they are still at the heart of it. At least 20 percent of the files contained clients who listed their address as the British Virgin Islands, which is no surprise given that they’re still selling secrecy,” - Ava Lee, Anti-Corruption Campaign Leader at Global Witness
“And it’s not just the UK’s Overseas Territories - the UK itself is classed as a ‘higher risk’ country and there are more companies from the UK in this leak than anywhere else in the world. If the government cares at all about the UK’s reputation globally, it must stop rolling out the red carpet to the criminal and corrupt, and refuse to legitimise their money through our companies and banks,”

Global Witness spokespeople are available for comment on the FinCEN leaks, including the use of anonymous companies in the US, the lack of progress in beneficial ownership transparency in the British Virgin Islands, the need for senior bankers to be held accountable when their banks launder money, and the problems with the Suspicious Activity Report system.

Header Image:  Sébastien Thibault/ Global Witness

/ ENDS