Since the 2008 financial crisis, international correspondent banks have had to face a number of challenges, like lower transaction volumes, shrinking profit margins, scepticism by regulators on money-laundering activities and incomprehensible risk parameters. A new report by the Financial Times on global banks cutting their corresponding banking operations and networks short and scraping off respondent banks and financial institutions from their clientle is a no-brainer for international banking watchdogs. Risk management is still dodgy, to say the least, in global banks. And the new measures won’t do much to help their purpose.
This retraction on the part of global correspondent banks is seen as a misdirected step by the financial intelligentsia who believe it will undo their efforts and insights into disrupting organised crime and cross-border money laundering activities. From the financial institutions’ point of view, the revocation of the networks will lead to new, unexplored challenges in financial crime and corresponding financial crime risk management. These will have expensive repercussions for correspondent banking in the event of compliance programmes not being customised to take on terrorist financing activities.
Why did correspondent banking succeed?