Financial intelligence units (FIUs): an investigation into the comparative effectiveness of the models employed by selected European countries

Gowitzke, Werner (2005) Financial intelligence units (FIUs): an investigation into the comparative effectiveness of the models employed by selected European countries. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This study investigates different models of financial intelligence units (FIUs) in selected European countries. The aim is to compare their effectiveness to see if one model is possibly more efficient than others. Although there is a vast amount of literature on anti-money laundering (AML) measures available, little research has been conducted on this particular subject, except in relation to legislative and judicial dimensions. In 1990, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommended the establishment of national FIUs who receive suspicious transaction reports (STRs) from financial institutions. Subsequently the European Union adopted this approach but without recommending any particular implementation. This led to the creation of various types of FIUs, which caused difficulties in international AML cooperation. It was suggested that statistics may qualify the efficiency of FIUs, in relation to successful AML systems. To address if the problem might be related to the concept of various FIU-types, this study combined a range of research methods. Statistical data was collected and collated, and responses to a Europol questionnaire were analysed. The results served to select a sample of seven European countries, in order to conduct semi-structured interviews with FIU employees. Results from nine interviews, addressing effectiveness and related issues, were then analysed and compared with the existing data. The results demonstrate that there is a need for more statistical data, common international guidelines and definitions of terms. Further, suggestions that to measure FIU effectiveness by looking at the chain of STR- FIU-investigation-conviction is shown to be suspect as this neglects the influence of other factors as well as the processes within the FIU itself. This primary research concluded that the effectiveness of the three FIU-types examined is on a similar level, and that the structures developed for dealing with STRs are similar. So far academic opinions had to be based on assumptions or theory when discussing effectiveness of FIU-models. Using an empirical approach, this research does not only contribute to but also extends the contemporary state of knowledge on STR regimes.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14

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