Financial integrity is essential for economic and social development. Countries’ financial systems must be transparent, must be inclusive and must function with integrity to ensure economic development and to promote good governance. Transnational organized criminal activity, corruption, the illegal trade in natural resources and the laundering of the proceeds of crime generate illicit flows that undermine good governance, financial sector stability, and economic development.
What We Do
The Financial Integrity business line provides client countries with tools for increasing transparency and for going after the “dirty money” as a way to reinforce the strength, safety and integrity of the financial system. Our Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) initiatives, along with our asset-disclosure tools, offer innovative avenues for fighting crime and addressing such development issues as corruption, financial inclusion, the ease of doing business, stolen asset recovery, and illicit financial flows.
The team also houses the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR), a partnership between the World Bank Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). StAR supports international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds, works with developing countries and financial centers to prevent the laundering of the proceeds of corruption, and to facilitate more systemic and timely return of stolen assets.
Through workshops, mentorships and advisory services, we support countries by:
- Developing effective laws, regulations and institutional frameworks.
- Assessing the impact of money laundering (ML) and the financing of terrorism (FT) on countries’ economies and financial systems.
- Training financial-sector supervisors, investigators, prosecutors and judges on ML and FT case
- Designing and implementing effective asset disclosure systems for public officials.
- Assessing the threats to and vulnerabilities of financial systems through National Risk Assessments (NRA) and assisting in the development of tools to counter possible threats.
We also promote the dissemination of international best practices and innovation to foster integrity in client countries on topics such as new financial products (such as mobile money), the regulation of remittance providers, financial investigation tools, and risk assessments. The unit is able to work from the design and adoption of an AML/CFT strategy to its final implementation.
Through the efforts of Financial Integrity experts working in developing countries, and through its research, the unit contributes to the discussion on a wide range of development issues including anti-corruption efforts, financial inclusion, taxation, stolen asset recovery, asset disclosure and environmental crime. We productively engage with client countries and standard-setters to influence policy.
The unit carries out assessments of countries’ AML/CFT regimes to diagnose their effectiveness and to identify areas of potential risk, as stand-alone diagnostics or in the context of the countries’ Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP). Assessments are used to determine technical-assistance needs and to inform the unit’s policy development work.
- We have delivered more than 400 AML/CFT technical-assistance activities, with more than 50 percent of them benefiting low-income and lower- middle-income countries since 2007. Technical assistance to fragile and conflict-affected states has been increasing in recent years, with 16 fragile states participating 73 times in World Bank Group programs.
- The World Bank Group’s technical work on AML/CFT has helped 65 client countries adopt reforms that have strengthened their AML/CFT regimes. Most of those reforms involved legislation, with more than 50 countries establishing or revising their AML/CFT legal framework to tackle the illicit flow of money.
- Financial Intelligence Units, which contribute to the initiation of AML/CFT initiatives, have been established in 24 countries.
- Since 2013 we have worked with over 70 countries undertaking AML/CFT national risk assessments and have helped design strategies to address potential vulnerabilities. More than 40 assessments have been completed.
- We provide rapid response to countries that are launching efforts to trace and recover stolen assets.
Who We Work With
In our client countries, we work with AML/CFT-relevant authorities – in the financial, legal and law enforcement sectors. Internationally, we work with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and similar regional bodies, the G7, the G20, the United Nations, the OECD, the OSCE, and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units. We also work closely with regional organizations and civil society organizations.