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NCJ Number: 221838 Find in a Library
Title: Sentinels in the Banking Industry: Private Actors and the Fight Against Money Laundering in France
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:48  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:1-19
Author(s): Gilles Favarel-Garrigues; Thierry Godefroy; Pierre Lascoumes
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Oxford University Press
Oxford OX2 6DP, United Kingdom
Sale Source: Oxford University Press
Walton Street
Oxford OX2 6DP,
United Kingdom
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper examines the new role of compliance officers in banks, in their assuming the role as private actors in the policing world, in the fight against money laundering in France.
Abstract: The majority of the interviewed French compliance officers thought that delegating the responsibility, in the fight against dirty money or money laundering, constituted the ultimate alibi for governmental powerlessness. They see themselves as the foremost contributors to the drive against dirty money, obliged to take on a job they consider as extraneous to their profession. However, intent on avoiding increasingly stiff criminal penalties for breaches in their security systems, these investments in compliance officers have become the material proof of bankers’ commitment to fulfilling their new obligations and handling risks competently. The question is then presented as to whether compliance officers act as "police auxiliaries", as a number of the interviewees claim, giving credence to the idea that theirs is an activity forced on them by the public authorities or that they are co-opted by the police. Regardless, it is important to recognize that information exchange has become a routine procedure and led to the development of joint intelligence production. This paper, which only reflects the French case, shows that since the early 1990s, the maintenance of close relations with the police, on a more or less formal basis, has become commonplace; now that it has been accepted, it is no longer seen as something secret, or shameful for a bank. Private actors in finance, especially in the banking industry, have played a leading role in the fight against money laundering. These private actors are assigned the duty of detecting dubious transactions in their establishments and informing a finance intelligence unit, such as Tracfin located in the French Ministry of France. This paper presents the results of interviews with compliance officers (private actors) who have assumed the new role of police duties, in the fight against money laundering and how they are performing in this new role. References
Main Term(s): Financial institutions; Money laundering
Index Term(s): Bank internal security; Crime prevention measures; France; Organized crime investigation; Organized crime prevention; Police crime-prevention; Policing innovation
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