27 January 2017

Experts: industry must adapt to address evolving terrorist financing threats

New paper recaps Counter Terrorist Financing discussion from Sibos

Counter terrorism activities seem to be part of nearly every news cycle. Governments expect financial institutions to play an increasingly significant role in choking off terrorist funding networks.

Yet the nature of the threat is evolving, experts say. Small cell and lone wolf attacks are becoming more common, meaning the sums of money involved are smaller and potentially harder to track.

A panel discussion at Sibos 2016 explored how the industry can adjust to these developments – including tracking funding from legal sources – while minimising negative impact on legitimate transactions.

A new paper – Trends in Counter Terrorist Financing – Panel Summary  – captures highlights from the discussion. Among the key takeaways:

  • Terrorists are being financed by legitimate sources such as student loans, as well as by criminal activities
  • The financial industry needs to adapt to the different approaches being used by terrorists
  • Information sharing between private and public sectors is key
  • More information is not necessarily helpful – the goal is to focus on higher quality information

The panellists highlighted the need for the financial industry to adapt to the changing threats. At the same time, they said, due consideration needs to be given to the impact of yet more regulation on legitimate financial flows. Concerns about data privacy and financial inclusion also need to be addressed.

Above all, panellists concluded, closer communication is needed in order to share information effectively. Without this type of dialogue, the money will continue to flow while information sharing remains impeded.



Extended reading


Financial crime compliance

SWIFT’s comprehensive suite of financial crime compliance services covers sanctions, KYC and compliance analytics, helping you set the standard in transparency, regulatory compliance and operational insight.

Compliance & Shared services

Compliance and Shared Services

Our collaborative solutions meet the challenges of financial crime compliance, and help to reduce cost, complexity and risk.

Compliance Analytics

Group-level analysis of your institution’s correspondent banking traffic for financial crime risks. Pinpoints unusual behaviour and assists with AML, KYC and sanctions due diligence.

SWIFT Insights

  • Discover the latest trends in financial services
  • Keep up with our news updates
  • Read thought-provoking industry reports
  • Explore global events and webinars
Read more