When I first started working in money laundering risk management in the early 1990s, reputational risk was something that greatly exercised my mind: surely customers would walk away from financial and professional service providers associated with laundering. That didn't happen.

Something else did.


I know. You read the headline, looked at the URL and thought "he's lost it. Again."

But I haven't. It's time that we stopped talking nonsense, stopped using lightweight buzz-wordy phrases and acronyms and got to grips with some basic truths.


It's more than four years since my son released his first album, "Stay." And now, with "Lost and Found," he's back. "Stay" was good. "Lost and Found" is much, much better.


The surprising news that Carlos Ghosn has been arrested on tax evasion charges in Japan and has already been turfed out of at least one of his senior positions in the Nissan-Mitsubishi-Renault triumvirate which he is widely regarded as having brought, in each case, back from the dead is worthy of comment, regardless of the eventual outcome of the investigation and charges.


The near-Messianic fascination with all things "blockchain" introduces a risk for financial crime risk officers. While the blockchain, as a part of a suite of technologies that work together can provide certain forms of security, there is a flip-side. The same security protocols can obscure information that FCROs would ordinarily expect to have as part of their routine KYC data.

What do FCROs/ MLROs / "AML" Risk Officers need to know?


The UK's Law Commission plans an Ethereum-like contracts execution platform. No problem so far. But then it wants to go further and make all contracts of certain types executable only via the platform.

So while you won't need to use the platform to buy a Mars Bar or to execute a will, you will need to use it for, amongst other things, a trust deed and a power of attorney, if the Law Commission succeeds.

It's a serious assault on personal privacy, no matter what "safeguards" might be proposed or introduced.

And it's bolstered by EU over-reach under the guise of...


Australia's ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) has been, rightly, stung by the brutal criticism it has suffered during the The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

Using the bizarre expression "regulatory capture" which sounds like another one of those phrases designed to attract media attention to the words not their meaning, ASIC's Chairman, Mr James Shipton, told The Australian Broadcasting Corporation "We want to have our supervisory officers physically inside these financial institutions by the...


I'm preparing for a trip to Manilla 24 - 27 July 2018 and Taipei from 30 July - 4th August 2018 and if anyone would like to book me to present an in-house seminar or briefing session during those times, check out the list of topics and let me know ASAP.

And so it was, with airline tickets on my mind that I read a question on a bulletin board that took me by surprise. I'm constantly bemused by how what seems absolutely normal to me seems to be something new or intellectually challenging to others.


Late yesterday, I posted to LinkedIn a message about the way sound travels around the concrete canyons in Kuala Lumpur. I had tried to work out the location that a sound originated from but had fallen into helpless giggles when I realised that I could only calculate the position of the source if I had the location of the source. That, of course, was a circular argument and of no value to anyone.


Life's funny and the world is tiny. And there is no such thing as no such thing as coincidences.


This blog was originally published as ” OK. Call me a contrarian if you want but you are wrong.” with “The falsely accused contrarian and the bubble people.” as a subtitle. In February 2021, this was reversed when the blog was recorded for a BLOG/cast.

Listen to the BLOG/cast at www.financialcrimebroadcasting.com


You know the old joke - you know when you are travelling too much when you refer to cities by their airport codes?

Well, yes, that's exactly what I'm reduced to. Having just got home to Kuala Lumpur after KUL, CAN, HRB and return (delayed a day because the otherwise excellent China Southern cancelled one of my flights - they gave me a key-ring to make up for it), I'm now setting up the schedules for the final (so far as I know) legs of my seminar tour.

(this blog is the text of my e-mail newsletter to which you are welcome to sign up via the link on this page)


When the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) story first appeared, I instructed World Money Laundering Report that we should not become involved in what would inevitably become a frenzy of speculation and ill-informed comment as consultants (of which I am, obviously, one) and media outlets vied to benefit their own profile, and to get website visits, while the story was hot.

On 7th August 2017, I wrote what amounted to a placeholder article .


This blog is the text of my newsletter. You are welcome to sign up using the link on this page.

Hello,

It's been a long while since I did a personal newsletter to my 20,000 plus contacts. A lot's been happening that isn't work related and one of the things that got shoved aside has been this monthly note.

Let's get started...


Some people might argue that I'm a Luddite but nothing could be further from the truth. I have long been an early adopter of new technology.

What I am not is a follower of fashion. And after a few days with what may be the worst car Mercedes have ever made, I'm even more convinced we need to stop the constant revision of things just so someone can put a "new" sticker on it.


As readers of my Tropical City Discs column will know, my family moved around a lot when I was young.

I decided that I'd celebrate that - with a seminar tour taking in some of the places that formed me...


I could go on for hours, days even, about how easy it is to use various techniques to manipulate the thoughts of a person who is targeted as a vehicle for financial crime.

Hell, I do go on for hours, days even, about it when people pay me to present seminars that show them how their companies can avoid being a victim of such offences.

But some of the most fun lessons are found when I, me, the one who knows, understands and communicates this stuff, falls victim...


My third disk and the story that goes with it.


It seems like only a few weeks ago, but I've just realised it was almost four months ago, that I wrote the first in what was supposed to be a short series.


The WWW didn't really exist when I started using the internet. We had bulletin boards, arcane chat room protocols, some weird techy stuff that allowed me to send e-mails to the USA from London if I routed them through Hong Kong (don't ask, I can't remember how I did it) and most communications revolved around what would today be called ecosystems, for example CompuServe and America On Line.

All the ingredients were present for social media but there was no integration. The internet was for techies.

That soon changed, and we changed with it.


It's difficult to understand what happened at the end of the week before Christmas.

Egypt's resolution condemning illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Territories was first delayed, then withdrawn after Israel pushed diplomatic buttons in Washington and found incoming President Trump to be an ally.

Then four countries put forward their own resolution and that was passed, because for the first time in a long time the USA did not exercise its veto to strike down a resolution critical of Israel's illegal acts.

That the Resolution was passed is a very good...


When I was young, and we had our first TV, I remember hiding behind the settee (I'm a Midlands lad, "sofas" were for pooftahs) when The Daleks appeared on Doctor Who.

I remember my Aunt laughing as she came down from the "box room" where she was staying for a couple of days and banging the door into my feet which protruded.

Now, rather older and, one hopes, rather wiser, I'm looking at my TV room and wondering if there's space behind the sofa (see, I'm reconstructed) for me to hide while the results of the US presidential election are announced.


If you are British, you will know that there are a number of reasons why the BBC earns its licence fee.

Mostly, it's not the junk TV like Eastenders, nor is the dreadful BBC website which is journalistically bankrupt and often barely literate.

And it's not the platform for stridency that is Woman's Hour.

No, it's things like its excellent drama on TV and Radio and Radio 4's "Letter to America," now sadly dead along with its creator, and Desert Island Discs. Sadly, the Roy Plomley years have gone and good as his replacements have been, it's not the same without those...


I know: for the past x decades, anyone who says "I don't like Mondays" is accused of plagiarism but it's not true. I'm a lot older than that song and I've never liked Mondays.

I can't get the hang of Wednesday afternoons, either, although that's for an entirely different reason.


My father, Roy, died on 11 June 2016 after a sudden decline in his general condition.

This is my tribute to him.