Banks' anti-money laundering costs skyrocket

9 July 2007

The cost of anti-money laundering measures undertaken by banks has skyrocketed since 2004, it has been reported.

According to figures from KPMG International, which surveyed 224 banks worldwide, the average cost of implementing these checks has jumped 58 per cent in the last three years.

Meanwhile, American and Middle Eastern banks incurred the largest rises in costs, with the average increase in expenditure standing at 71 per cent.

Although banks had anticipated that costs would increase, the rise had been expected to stand at 43 per cent.

The higher costs have been attributed to the increased risks evident in some of the emerging markets into which banks are expanding their businesses.

Furthermore, another factor has been governmental moves towards greater scrutiny of bank procedures imposed after September 11th to circumvent funding reaching terrorists. This in turn forced banks to up spending to crack down on money laundering.

Respondants from banks showed that the largest area of spending was in closer monitoring of transactions and training staff.

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