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Tackling financial crime

According to International Monetary Fund estimates, money laundering equates to between 2 and 5 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). The World Bank estimates that corruption costs more than 5 per cent of global GDP annually (USD2.6 trillion). Globalisation is causing financial systems to become increasingly integrated. Criminals are adapting to this environment, with increases in cross-border fraud, money laundering and bribery. For example, corruption is a problem for small businesses in many countries. Transparency International has estimated that up to 50 per cent of the cost of setting up a small business can be lost in bribes to obtain licences to operate. Whilst the losses in each case may be small, they can be devastating for the individuals concerned and add up to hundreds of millions of dollars in costs across the world. As a leading international bank, we have a major role to play in the fight against these threats.

Standard Chartered is fully engaged in preventing, detecting and mitigating financial crime in our markets, including money laundering, terrorist financing, bribery and corruption, market abuse and fraud. This engagement forms part of our commitment to be a law-abiding financial institution and underscores our Here for good brand promise.

In 2010 a major project commenced to align the Bank’s anti-bribery programme with the specific requirements of the 2010 UK Bribery Act, building on previous work around the Group anti-corruption policy and enhance the anti-corruption element of the Group Code of Conduct.

Across our international footprint of 71 markets, our staff work closely with regulators and law enforcement agencies. We tailor our approach to individual markets, while maintaining a consistent, global control of financial crime risk. Meanwhile, new or proposed legislation – in particular the 2010 UK Bribery Act and the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act 2010 – are driving change in the way that we address financial crime risk.

Advances in technology, including mobile phone and Internet banking, require up-to-date counter-fraud measures to combat shifting crime typologies. At the same time, technology enables us to refine and increase our ability to combat financial crime.

Annual Report and Accounts 2010