Five Dutch banks have joined forces to create a transaction monitoring utility in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The coalition, comprising ABN Amro, ING, Rabobank, Triodos Bank and de Volksbank, will use Transaction Monitoring Netherlands (TMNL) to idenitify unusual patterns in payments traffic that individual banks cannot identify.
Estimates suggest that €16 billion of criminal money is laundered in the Netherlands each year from activities including drug trafficking, human trafficking, child pornography and extortion.
President Chris Buijink of the Dutch Banking Association, says: “Really effective combating of this type of criminality is only possible through closer cooperation. This cooperation will have positive consequences throughout the chain from detection to prosecution. TMNL is an essential collective step that is a world first.”
Research conducted by the banks shows that collective transaction will allow for better and more effective detection of criminal money flows and networks in addition to what banks can achieve individually with their own transaction data.
The banks are also working closely with government partners such as the Ministries of Finance and Justice and Security, the FIOD and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). on the initiative, which ties in with the Money Laundering Action Plan announced by the government in mid-2019. As part of this plan an amendment of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act is expected to enable full-scale collective transaction monitoring.
The construction and development of TMNL will be done in phases and operate under the assumption that other banks will also be able to make use of TMNL in due course.