The FinCEN Files Show Banks Don’t Actually Care About Stopping Money Laundering

The massive leak of suspicious activity reports shows how banks let the government know about likely money laundering, then go right on providing services.

Sep 21, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. UTCUpdated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:58 a.m. UTC
Sep 21, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. UTCUpdated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:58 a.m. UTC

The massive leak of suspicious activity reports shows how banks let the government know about likely money laundering, then go right on providing services.

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This episode is sponsored by Crypto.comBitstamp and Nexo.io.

Today on the Brief:

  • Stocks down, dollar up on COVID-19 resurgence fears
  • People’s Bank of China says digital yuan needed to fight USD dominance
  • 140,000 have claimed UNI tokens
  • Judge stops Trump WeChat ban
  • Nikola founder resigns

Our main discussion: The FinCEN Files

The FinCEN Files are a leaked cache of suspicious activity reports filed by banks with the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The more than 2,000 files, representing $2 trillion in transactions, were leaked to BuzzFeed News more than a year ago. BuzzFeed, in turn, shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, who then helped distribute them to 108 publications in 88 countries. 

This episode provides an overview of the leaks and explains why they show that, despite lots of PR bluster, banks are happy to file their reports and then keep on banking likely money launderers.

For more episodes and free early access before our regular 3 p.m. Eastern time releases, subscribe with Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocketcasts, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Stitcher, RadioPublica, iHeartRadio or RSS.

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