Swiss gold refiners anticipating increased money laundering vigilance

Swiss gold refiners, which play a substantial role in the global trade in the precious metal, are anticipating increased interest from regulators looking to crackdown on financial crime in the gold trade.

Switzerland is home to four out of the world’s ten most significant gold refining businesses.

Critical link

The refiners are a critical link between sellers and buyers in the global gold market, with mines and scrap merchants on the one hand and buyers of gold bullion bars on the other.

All four Swiss-based refiners have been implicated in recent years in allegations of money laundering and human rights abuses at mines in Africa and other emerging markets.

Official responses

Now the refiners are expected to come under more pressure from the Swiss government, which is expected to prepare a referendum in which voters could support measures forcing the refiners to disclose data on their suppliers.

Meanwhile a report published late last year by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) questioned Swiss gold refiners’ ability to manage the risks of trade-based financial crime.

The same report also said Swiss banks specialising in trade finance have not yet fully implemented the controls needed to ensure that they are not violating international sanctions (Trade Based Financial Crime, 14 December 2016).

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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