Banks complicit in money laundering, too, new leaked data shows

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There’s good news for crypto traders latent in new reports from U.S. financial regulatory agency FiNCEN, although some in the traditional banking world might call it sour grapes.

 

At Cointelegraph, Turner Wright reports a storm of suspicious activity reports or SARs coming from banks reporting internal activity flagged as potentially assisting money laundering activities.

 

“BuzzFeed News reported on Sept. 20 that it received thousands of documents detailing … SARs, from banks to FinCEN between 2000 and 2017,” Wright reports, without saying where BuzzFeed came by this data. “According to the news outlet, the reports ‘offer an unprecedented view of global financial corruption, the banks enabling it, and the government agencies that watch as it flourishes. Some of the more contentious information in the SARs implies that FinCEN took little or no action to stop banks from enabling money laundering from suspicious individuals and institutions on some occasions.”

The way Wright explains it, naming huge banks like J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank, is that the banks are self-reporting in a way that’s absolving them of any responsibility if it’s found that black hat actors are using the banks to steal. He talks about a “shadow financial system” and suggest banks are using the reporting system as a “get out of jail free card,” where it’s the traditional banking apparatus that may be funneling dark money all over the place.

 

Of course, there are still liabilities in the crypto arena. The Mount Gox debacle still looms large, even in Wright’s reporting and in other places where analysts are suggesting banks share some blame for corruption and loose regulatory powers. But the key here is that in an age where the fiercest critics of crypto rail about its potential for accommodating fraud and money laundering, if it’s seen that the traditional system does that too, that can really break down barriers for mass crypto adoption. Keep an eye on this trend!

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