Non-compliance Behavior of De-risking Force the EU to Enhance Anti-money Laundering Regulation

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Purpose: Recent research shows that because of money-laundering risks, there has been an increase in the off-boarding of certain types of corporate clients in the financial sector. This phenomenon known as “de-risking” has been argued to have a negative impact on society, because it increases the possible risk of money laundering. The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether the de-risking strategy of financial institutions results in an expansion of the regulatory framework concerning anti-money laundering focusing on off-boarding of clients and, if so, is there a way to avoid further regulation by changing present behavior.
Design/methodology/approach: This paper applies functional methods to law and economics to achieve higher efficiency in combating money laundering.
Findings: In this paper, it is found that the continuing of de-risking by financial institutions because of the avoidance strategy of money-laundering risks will inevitably result in further regulatory demands regarding the off-boarding process of clients. The legal basis for the introduction of further regulatory intervention is that some of the de-risking constitutes a direct contradiction to the aim of the present regulatory framework, making the behavior non-compliant to the regulation.
Originality/value: There has been very little research concerning de-risking related to money laundering. The present research has focused on the effect on society and not the relationship between the financial institutions and the regulator. This paper raises an important and present problem, as the behavior of the financial institutions constitute a response from the regulator that is contradicting the thoughts behind the behavior of the financial institutions. It is found that the paper is highly relevant if an expansion of regulation is to be hindered.
TidsskriftJournal of Financial Regulation and Compliance
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)477-490
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 2021

Bibliografisk note

Published online: 15 July 2021.


  • Anti-money laundering
  • Financial crime
  • Regulatory compliance
  • De-risking
  • Risk regulation