Why fighting financial crime matters

The challenge

Access to the financial system helps transform lives around the world, helping to reduce poverty and spur economic development. But the financial system is also used by those involved in some of today’s most damaging crimes – from human trafficking to terrorism, corruption and the drug trade.

What is human trafficking?

The trafficking and exploitation of human beings is a vast, complex, and highly profitable global business. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) it generates illegal profits of $150 billion a year.

Human trafficking and the financial system

Criminals seek to exploit the financial system in order to move the proceeds of their illicit activity around the world. But whenever money moves through the financial system it leaves a trail. That's their Achilles’ heel and we're determined to do everything in our power to use it against them.

Human trafficking and the financial system

Criminals seek to exploit the financial system in order to move the proceeds of their illicit activity around the world. But whenever money moves through the financial system it leaves a trail. That's their Achilles’ heel and we're determined to do everything in our power to use it against them.

Disrupting modern slavery

Standard Chartered publishes an annual statement in line with the requirements of the UK’s Modern Slavery Act (2015), setting out the steps the Bank has taken in the last financial year to ensure that modern slavery is not taking place in our operations or our supply chain. 

Our commitment

"Built on a global footprint, Standard Chartered has become a linchpin of growth in emerging markets, promoting financial inclusion and global trade. This puts us at the front line of fighting financial crime. Building and maintaining robust defences is a necessary part of being in business and, as a gatekeeper to the financial system, it's our responsibility to make sure we are playing our part."

Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive

Our commitment

"Built on a global footprint, Standard Chartered has become a linchpin of growth in emerging markets, promoting financial inclusion and global trade. This puts us at the front line of fighting financial crime. Building and maintaining robust defences is a necessary part of being in business and, as a gatekeeper to the financial system, it's our responsibility to make sure we are playing our part."

Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive

Our commitment to fighting financial crime

Access to the financial system helps transform lives around the world. But the financial system is also the lifeblood of some of today’s most damaging crimes – from human trafficking to terrorism, the drug trade to corruption.

Built on a global footprint, Standard Chartered has become a linchpin of growth in emerging markets, promoting financial inclusion and global trade. This puts us at the front line of fighting financial crime. Building and maintaining robust defences is a necessary part of being in business and, as a gatekeeper to the financial system, it’s our responsibility to make sure we are playing our part.

We realise that, at times, our past efforts to prevent financial crime fell short. That’s why we have been working hard to respond right across the bank, and we are making significant progress. We’re on a continual journey, and it’s our commitment to become a leader in tackling financial crime.

We have learnt from our past and recognise there is no room for complacency. This means engaging our people and strengthening our culture so that each and every one of us sees fighting financial crime as a core part of the day job, wherever we sit in the bank. At the same time, our business must be backed up by robust compliance efforts that address the inherent risk of the people, companies and markets that we serve – applied consistently around the world.

To make the financial system a hostile environment for criminals and terrorists, our contribution has to go beyond our own business. We’re helping to raise industry standards, working hand-in-hand with our banking customers around the world. And in collaboration with governments, regulators and other global banks, we’re taking a lead on forging new models for combating financial crime.

As we implement our future strategy, upholding the highest standards of conduct is a priority for the bank. That’s how we’ll make a positive difference to how the financial system operates, and build our business competitively and sustainably over the long-term.

Our latest thinking

Experts from Standard Chartered provide their insights on issues, events and trends linked to the global fight against financial crime.

See more of our Perspective posts by clicking our ‘Expert perspectives’ tab.