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Banks may risk-assess new customers

BS Reporter in Mumbai | August 06, 2008 10:59 IST

Any new customer acquired by a bank may soon have to undergo a risk assessment. The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the anti-money laundering agency of the government, is putting in place a system that will enable banks to risk-assess their customers, a senior official said.

According to estimates of KPMG Advisory Services, around $1 trillion is laundered globally, of which $23 billion is remitted to India. The firm's Executive Director Arpinder Singh said that 40 per cent of this amount is routed through the parallel banking system.

At a seminar in Mumbai, FIU Director Arun Goyal said that so far, India has received 50 references from various countries seeking information on alleged money laundering transactions, while New Delhi had made 15 requests for such cases.

During the current financial year, some 14 cases of money laundering have been reported, Goyal said without disclosing details.  In 15 cases, the FIU has ordered attachment of property worth around Rs 34 crore.

The agency has been relying on suspicious transaction records to collect information. So far, it has received over 6.5 million cash transaction records (CTRs) and more than 2,700 suspicious transaction records.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India [Get Quote] has asked non-banking finance companies to tighten their anti-money laundering processes.

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