Author: Richard Grint, Head of Financial Crime – PA Consulting Group

Each year, organised crime generates revenue equivalent to about 2.7 per cent of global GDP and criminals launder US$1.6 trillion of it through the mainstream financial systems[1]. As criminals are becoming smarter and more sophisticated, the social and economic consequences will increase.

The financial services industry is doing its best to combat financial crime and protect customers, yet there’s still more to do. But how to do it?

As usual, there is no simple answer or single solution, but fundamentally the various players in the financial services eco-system can’t afford to ‘go it alone’. They need to work together. There needs to be a strong network that brings together financial institutions, regulators, government and law enforcement agencies.

Building the right financial crime ecosystem

Collaboration may seem like the buzz word of the moment, but it cannot be ignored. Industry and law enforcement have already developed partnership approaches such as the Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce (JMLIT) and the Joint Fraud Taskforce which are helping private and public sectors pool intelligence to understand threats, and how criminals move and store their money.

The result is the reduction of crime and identification of patterns of criminal behaviour or networks much earlier. But in order to meet the disruptive forces of technology, regulation and changing customer expectations, more needs to be done.

We believe there are four crucial elements to supporting collaboration which businesses should consider adapting:

  1. Reducing barriers – streamline AML activities, reduce internal politics and persuade firms to take financial crime seriously; it’s not just a ‘slap on the wrist’ fine.
  2. Harnessing technology – it can simplify processes, identify suspicious transactions quicker and enable collaboration.
  3. Sharing information – data sharing and analysis needs to be more widely available. Firms need to learn from others through open dialogue.
  4. Less talk, more action – take a proactive approach.

PA Consulting Group are developing some focused insights building the financial crime ecosystem supported by interviews from key industry influencers in leading organisations.

We would be delighted to hear your views or experiences as part of this piece of research.  Please contact us at to schedule an interview.


How can better collaboration reduce financial crime?