Our point of view

“By sticking with our local correspondent banking customers we can safeguard their access to the financial system, support our commercial footprint and build strong relationships with clients. We can protect and enhance financial inclusion around the world by working with local partners and bringing them into our risk framework.”

Heidi Toribio | Managing Director and Global Head, Banks and Broker Dealers


De-risking through education

We have developed a unique strategy called ‘de-risking through education’ which aims to manage the financial crime risk in our correspondent banking portfolio, support growth in emerging markets and promote financial inclusion. As part of this initiative, we partner with our respondent banks who are looking to improve their financial crime controls, and share our tools and experience to help them build robust controls for managing financial crime risk.

This is done through a series of events called ‘Correspondent Banking Academies’, where we educate our clients on international best practices in financial crime compliance as well as giving clients access to the eLearning materials we use at Standard Chartered.


“We take our responsibility as a leading international bank seriously and continue to invest significantly in improving standards across our markets through our correspondent banking and new NGO academies.”

Bill Winters | Group Chief Executive

MENAP Correspondent Banking Academy

In February 2017, we brought together over 100 representatives from respondent banking clients, regulators and law enforcement across the Middle East for the latest in our series of Correspondent Banking Academies.

Halting the decline of correspondent banking

“Correspondent banking has been a cornerstone of transaction banking for many years, facilitating cross-border flow of goods and services, and connecting banks and their customers from around the world. However, as banks, regulators, policy makers and law enforcement agencies address the challenge of tackling money laundering and financing of terrorism, one outcome is that some banks are choosing to de-risk their business by exiting correspondent banking in certain markets, with very real implications for the global economy.”

David Howes | Deputy Head, Group Financial Crime Compliance

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Most Recent Perspectives

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

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Many people are devoting energy to promoting financial inclusion, yet today there is a growing awareness of the negative effects that de-risking by global banks can have on these efforts. Here are some recent reports and debates that bring this challenge, and opportunity, to life.

The Wolfsberg Group Secretariat has published New Correspondent Banking Due Diligence Questionnaire along with a set of guidance material (Completion Guidance, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Glossary)
The WSJ’s Samuel Rubenfeld on Sigma Inc. the New Ratings Firm Measuring Banks' Financial-Crime Vulnerability (paywall)
Heidi Toribio, Standard Chartered, Managing Director and Global Head, Banks and Broker Dealers on Building up the capabilities of respondent banks in FT Letters to the Editor (paywall)
The Economist explains: The unintended effects of rules aimed at stopping financial crimes (paywall)

Legitimate customers and transactions are being hit hard by a system designed to stem the flow of dirty money.

The WSJ spoke to Heidi Toribio, Standard Chartered, Managing Director and Global Head, Banks and Broker Dealers about why
The Economist explains: Standard Chartered Turns to Education to Manage De-Risking (paywall)
Rolling up the welcome mat – the Economist reports on how A crackdown on financial crime means global banks are de-risking (paywall)

Charities and poor migrants are among the hardest hit.

Our perspective on ‘Promoting financial inclusion with safe and secure correspondent banking’, in the Global Banking & Finance review

David Fleet, Managing Director, Client On-boarding and Management, Standard Chartered sets the scene: “Access to safe, high-quality banking is something often taken for granted”.

Chatham House research paper on ‘The Impact of Banking Restrictions on UK NGOs

RUSI researchers find that banks are seen to be restricting the work of humanitarian NGOs and “impeding the effectiveness of the UK government's aid budget” through de-risking activity.

Standard Chartered’s perspective on ‘Managing risk in emerging markets

Report offering companies currently conducting business in emerging markets, or seeking to do so, tips and advice.

IMF and World Bank event on ‘Financial Inclusion not Exclusion: Managing De-Risking

Fintech innovation and successes from emerging countries and the private sector show tangible progress toward Universal Financial Access 2020, but de-risking is undermining these efforts.

Standard Chartered’s perspective on ‘Promoting financial inclusion in correspondent banking

Anurag Bajaj, Global Head of Banks, Transaction Banking on efforts being made to ensure that correspondent banking remains a lifeline of commerce, facilitating and financing trade and cross border financial flows

Oxfam and the Global Centre on Cooperative Security on ‘Understanding bank de-risking and its effects on financial inclusion

Report based on a four-month exploratory study on the impacts of bank de-risking practices on financial inclusion, carried out between November 2014 and February 2015.

How we’re fighting financial crime