FinCEN Files
An ICIJ Investigation

FinCEN Files

An ICIJ investigation reveals the role of global banks in industrial-scale money laundering – and the bloodshed and suffering that flow in its wake. Read more.

  • Global banks moved more than $2 trillion between 1999 and 2017 in payments they believed were suspicious, and flagged bank clients in more than 170 countries who were identified as being involved in potentially illicit transactions. The figures include $514 billion at JPMorgan Chase and $1.3 trillion at Deutsche Bank.
  • The FinCEN Files show that five global banks — JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank and Bank of New York Mellon — moved illicit cash for shadowy characters and criminal networks even after U.S. authorities fined these financial institutions for earlier failures to stem flows of dirty money.
  • In half of the FinCEN Files reports, banks didn’t have information about one or more entities behind the transactions.
  • Years after concerns first emerged, banks continued to move money for fraudsters, drug dealers and allegedly corrupt officials, leading to cases of real harm.

How money is laundered through New York banks

By filing suspicious activity reports to regulators, big banks in the U.S. can collect transfer fees on suspicious transactions. Failure to file a SAR can expose banks to fines or penalties.

Read the investigation

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