By their nature, the scale of financial crimes is notoriously difficult to trace and quantify. For example, UNDOC highlights that “the clandestine nature of money-laundering" makes it difficult to accurately estimate the total amount of money being laundered every year globally. The most common estimate for the amount of money laundered globally in one year is 2 – 5% of global GDP, or $800 billion – $2 trillion in current US dollars, a classic example of how often statistics about financial crimes like money laundering are loosely estimated or given as a range.
We've rounded up some more of the most eye-opening statistics relevant to financial crime in 2022.
11 FinCrime facts for 2022:
- The average global money laundering risk score – as reported by the annual Basel AML Index - saw an increase in 2021 from 5.22 to 5.3 (out of a maximum score of 10)
- Global financial crime fines handed out in 2021 totalled $9.95bn, down from 2020’s record breaking figure of $22.86bn, according to a report by AML Intelligence
- Corruption, bribery, and fraud accounted for a whopping 69.6% of FinCrime fines handed out in 2021
- FinCrime fines fell by 78% from 2020 to 2021, with just $2.86bn given out compared to $13.15bn in 2020 – $7.2bn of which related to the Malaysian 1MDB scandal
- 22.0% of money laundering offences in the US in 2020 involved loss amounts greater than $1.5 million
- The median amount of money laundered in the US in 2020 was $301,606
- Despite its association with the Silk Road and the dark net, only 1.1% of all cryptocurrency transactions are known to be illicit
- In EUROPOL’s 2020 highlights, they reported the recovery of $22,553,523 in cash; 118 bitcoins, 4 properties, gold and silver coins worth a total of $6.26 million, and $2.39 million worth of asset seizures from criminal finances, money laundering and asset recovery operations
- The NCA estimates that fraud alone causes losses to UK consumers, businesses and the public sector worth around $258 billion every year, and that money laundering costs the UK more than $136 billion a year. Combined, these figures are equivalent to 14.5 % of the UK’s annual GDP
- The amount of criminal funds that are either channelled through the UK or facilitated by UK structures, “can reasonably be said to run into the tens of billions of pounds, and probably the hundreds of billions” (The UK Treasury Select Committee)
- Serious and organised crime costs the UK an estimated $50.4 billion a year
Where to find out more about AML and FinCrime:
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Photo by Shubham Sharma on Unsplash