Financial Crime Section: One Year On

When I was approached by gtnews in early 2006 with the invitation to set up the Financial Crime section, we all agreed that the section should primarily bring information, knowledge and education to readers. That the section should be interesting was of primary importance.

The considerable subject area of financial crime is as diverse as it is extensive and multi-faceted. It is an absorbing subject that can also be mesmerizing. I have spent the majority of my working life in this field either as an investigator, instructor or both. I founded Global Risk Advisory (GRA) Services of which I am the principal in early 2005. It was established to assist business, commerce and industry with training requirements for financial crime prevention. Employee protection and travel security advice is also part of the service. Prior to establishing this unique consultancy, for over 10 years I was the head of international corporate security at a major international bank based in the US. My responsibilities included the prevention and detection of international financial crime and managing all overseas security operations together with associate travel safety. Before accepting this challenge, I was an officer with the Company Fraud Department, New Scotland Yard, London. I served as a police officer for nearly 30 years.

We are all affected by financial fraud, whether as a direct victim or one who has to pay more for services such as insurance or increases in the everyday cost of living expenses due to the deliberate, outrageous and iniquitous criminal acts of the devious, deceitful and dishonest members of our societies. However, with care, attention and awareness, most cases of fraud can be prevented.

The Financial Crime section on gtnews was launched in May 2006 and in the last 13 months it has built up a substantial archive of articles, commentaries and special reports. The box below highlights the most read articles on the section so far this year and also highlights the range of topics covered by contributors.

Top 10 Most Read Articles in the Financial Crime Section 2007

1. Fundamentals of Due Diligence: A Critical Business Tool (Part One)

2. Identity Theft in the Corporate World

3. The Hacker Within: The Prevalence of Employee Fraud

4. Chip and PIN’s Impact on Fraud Prevention

5. Faster Payments, Weaker Authentication?

6. The Financial Challenge to Crime and Terrorism

7. Deterring Fraud and Driving Compliance Through Expense Management

8. 

9. Identity Theft: Trends and Challenges

10. Banking Secrecy Laws and AML in Lebanon

From the news headlines and government initiatives across the world, it is clear that financial crime and fraud – in all its guises – remains a serious and frequent threat to the industry. Through expert advice and opinion, the section offers readers advice and guidance on how to prevent fraud and create effective controls and due diligence procedures.

The section is expanding, and will continue to do so, with six new sub-sections including Risk Mitigation and Internet & Electronic Crime. These will reflect the latest trends and developments and feature more articles from experts in this field.

In establishing the Financial Crime section, it was my intention to create an informative and useful tool that could be used to share the knowledge and experiences of many people. Some of you have submitted articles and some have asked questions that have been answered directly and hopefully with accuracy. Thank you all for your contributions.

In commencing the second year of the section, it is important that we receive more articles from you on relevant subjects linked to financial crime that you consider to be of interest to others. You will receive full accreditation for any published submissions. In addition, you may have questions or queries on various related subjects or areas that may be of interest to the readership of gtnews – questions that others may also be asking and trying to find answers for. These questions should be asked because other readers could gain knowledge at the same time.

Financial crime is always with us. It will never be eliminated completely but it can be minimized. There are myriads of advice, strategies, guiding principles and formulae that could be shared to try to reduce it. Professor Michael Levi on the eve of the First International Financial Fraud Convention in London in 1996 summed the subject up completely when he told me: “Remember, fraud is not a competitive issue.”

We are always interested in your thoughts and comments so please do contact us with any questions or opinions: brendanh@gtnews.com.

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