20,000 people lost £100 million in last 6 months in the UK – Why Banks need to take responsibility for their Anti Money Laundering (AML) Failings

The scale of this fraud beggars belief as it relies on the failings of the recipient bank to do proper due diligence.

When a bank allows a new customer to open an account, they have provided the means for a customer to receive money from the banking system with very few restrictions. If the fraudsters can’t open accounts – they can’t commit the fraud.

The AML process needs to be performed much more robustly – with effective checks. New customers should have to describe typical transactions and any receipts outside of this should be challenged immediately as potentially suspect. Similarly if an account is new, they should be very suspicious if money is transferred out as soon as it comes in.

The onus should be on the recipient bank to prove they have acted to the highest standard – otherwise they should pay up.

They should also be required to report to the police all accounts which fail AML checks – to give the police a much better chance of catching the fraudsters.