Prevention of criminal use of the banking system for the purpose of money-laundering

December 1988

The attached Statement is a general statement of ethical principles which encourages banks' management to put in place effective procedures to ensure that all persons conducting business with their institutions are properly identified; that transactions that do not appear legitimate are discouraged; and that cooperation with law enforcement agencies is achieved. The Statement is not a legal document and its implementation will depend on national practice and law. In particular, it should be noted that in some countries banks may be subject to additional more stringent legal regulations in this field and the Statement is not intended to replace or diminish those requirements. Whatever the legal position in different countries, the Committee considers that the first and most important safeguard against money-laundering is the integrity of banks' own managements and their vigilant determination to prevent their institutions becoming associated with criminals or being used as a channel for money-laundering. The Statement is intended to reinforce those standards of conduct.

The supervisory authorities represented on the Committee support the principles set out in the Statement. To the extent that these matters fall within the competence of supervisory authorities in different member countries, the authorities will recommend and encourage all banks to adopt policies and practices consistent with the Statement. With a view to its acceptance worldwide, the Committee would also commend the Statement to supervisory authorities in other countries.