Founding Partner Bambos Tsiattalou comments in Compliance Week on Credit Suisse becoming the first major Swiss bank to be prosecuted for money laundering in the country.

Bambos’ comments were published in Compliance Week, 1 July 2022, and can be found here.

“Credit Suisse’s money laundering conviction is the first of its kind in Swiss banking history. But many other European banks still face questions about historic compliance procedures and adherence to anti-money laundering regulations. These issues have been raised with several of them – and we will see more in future.

An appeal has already been launched by Credit Suisse, based partly on the argument that the crimes belong to an era when compliance standards were notably less stringent: the offences were committed between 2004 and 2008. Across Europe, regulation has certainly moved on apace since the global financial crisis. But problems still remain.

Primarily, this is a systemic challenge of past behaviour when lax rules and regulations applied. In this contest, an additional systemic response may be needed, particularly since money can be transferred easily and instantaneously between jurisdictions. Any future regulatory response must therefore apply at both a systemic and transnational level.

For companies and banks, eternal vigilance is essential: they must continuously update their procedures and systems so that they can readily identify any suspicious transactions and deal with them accordingly. To avoid criminal liability, they must take all reasonable measures to prevent crimes from happening.”

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