Like last year, we were in London at the beginning of June for the ACAMS European great event, ears wide open to the latest news and some “naive” questions on the tip of the tongue, as well as on the lookout for the VIPs that one runs into during the coffee breaks.
Given the proximity to the entry into force of the 4th Directive, we were also very interested in knowing how the financial community comprehends this major deadline.
Very logically, the underlying trends remain unchanged, the search for information about ultimate beneficial ownership remains a major concern. One notices however that more and more people, especially in large organizations, are looking for automated solutions to speed up processes, make them more reliable, but also more economical.
The issue of terrorism, already briefly mentioned last year, is unfortunately coming back in force as a result of recent events: the financing of terrorism remains very topical.
The fight against tax fraud and the use of offshore financial centers has also been clearly mentioned. Focusing on the EU countries, the NGO Transparency International has undertaken a study on 6 European countries, including Luxembourg, and is quite critical of the latter.
A particularly interesting and newly evoked topic at ACAMS: the issue of laundering operations related to wildlife products or artefacts in general, with a focus on antiques, paintings, sculptures.
People active in the art and antiquities sector will have to seriously consider acting on these issues because there exist serious risks of money laundering and financing of terrorism in this field. The plundering of many museums and sites in the Middle East is a real threat.
In our opinion, many of these subjects deserve more in-depth reflexions. This is our holiday duty: distil more in-depth information on these subjects.
Anyway, happy holidays … And a good holiday reading of the blog!
Founder and CEO @ Ibakus Europe SA.
Founder of FMV & Partners SA in 2000s.