Every year, an estimated 16 billion euros is laundered by criminals, of which only two percent is actually confiscated. The fight against this society-wide problem can and should be done better. Dutch banks make every effort to tackle money laundering as effectively as possible. This is why the five Dutch banks ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank, Triodos Bank and de Volksbank have jointly established Transaction Monitoring Netherlands (TMNL).
What does TMNL do?
TMNL brings together transaction data from different banks and makes meaningful connections between them. These links provide new insights into possible money laundering and terrorist financing. TMNL ensures that banks are even better able to detect potentially unusual transactions and that new patterns can be uncovered that would otherwise not be noticed. This allows investigative services to tackle money laundering more effectively, public resources are used more efficiently and criminals are given less room to operate. In this way, TMNL makes a positive contribution to society.
Banks have been monitoring transactions for many years. What does TMNL do differently?
Under the current Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act (Wwft), banks are an important link in the fight against financial crimes, and thus make a substantial contribution in making the monitoring and investigation chain more effective.
Until recently, banks have individually looked for possible unusual transaction patterns and reported any relevant transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit – Netherlands (FIU). The FIU has then further investigated these reports and, where necessary, forwarded them to the investigative services.
While these efforts continue, the limitation of each bank individually in looking for money laundering and terrorist financing transaction patterns has been recognized, as criminals will often spread their transactions across multiple banks. A more intensive cooperation between banks is then an important part of a more effective approach to money laundering and terrorist financing, and that is exactly what TMNL is aiming for.
The monitoring of transactions by TMNL is only possible through a high level of cooperation with both its founding banks and partners such as the Financial Intelligence Unit – Netherlands (FIU-Netherlands) and the Anti Money Laundering Center (AMLC). Ensuring secure data, guaranteeing privacy and the responsible use of models is of the utmost importance to TMNL. Various legislation provides important and necessary guidance in this regard.
What does the future of TMNL look like?
TMNL wants to work with – and monitoring transactions coming from – more financial institutions in the long term. The ambition is for TMNL to become an ever increasingly effective part of the joint fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.