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Dutch banks to create AML transaction monitoring utility

Dutch banks to create AML transaction monitoring utility

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.

Comments: (3)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 09 July, 2020, 09:41Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Great idea - but you need suspicious or criminal data (the deed has been done) before you can analyse transactions.  Prevention is better than any post event action as C-19 has shown us.  

Stewart Robbins
Stewart Robbins - Teradata - London 10 July, 2020, 08:231 like 1 like

Chris makes a good comment but the point of this will surely be to create larger data sets to spot rarer (newer) types of crime and share likely perpetrator information more quickly. I think this is a welcome response that will improve prevention and is an example of regional co-operation that could sensibly be extended.

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 10 July, 2020, 13:22Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

A restaurant can deny access to someone based on suspicious behavior. An ecommerce company can refuse to deliver to a certain zip code because it heard in the news that there was some unrest out there. Loss of sales is the only consequence they face if their preventive action turns out to be unwarranted based on ex-post facto analysis. That's not the case in banking. Apart from loss of fees, banks also face regulatory action and raise doubts about their own liquidity position if they deny / delay payments on account of suspicions that are proven wrong later. AI / ML tech can help spot criminal behavior before the fact. But, as of now, they have fairly high False Positive rates. Until their accuracy reaches, say, 99%, I'd think banks should stick to taking action only after the fact. And an interbank utility that helps them do that at a lower cost and higher accuracy is a good enough step in the right direction for now.