In recent years, access to financial services has become increasingly difficult for civil society organizations that must conduct international financial transactions in order to operate overseas where their work is needed most. Financial institutions may delay, or refuse to make, transfers between organizations. Sometimes, nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are turned away as customers or have their accounts closed. Remittance services that facilitate fund transfers between diaspora populations and their families are threatened by the international banking system’s growing unwillingness to provide these services.
The U.S. government has said that banks should not “de-risk” but that policy has not been translated into concrete action or regulatory standards that remove current disincentives for banks to provide services to international NPOs. As a result, money will be taken out of transparent, regulated channels, making life more difficult for legitimate NPOs and easier for terrorist financiers.
On February 7, 2017, we released a comprehensive report on Financial Access for U.S. Nonprofits. It represents the first empirical data on the subject and
includes perspectives from stakeholders as well as observations and recommendations.
- C&SN Financial Access Issue Brief
- Center for Global Development, Unintended Consequences of Anti-Money Laundering Policies for Poor Countries
- Chatham House, Humanitarian Action and Non-state Armed Groups: The Impact of Banking Restrictions on UK NGOs
- Global Center on Cooperative Security and Oxfam, Understanding Bank De-risking and its Effects on Financial Inclusion
- Women Peacemakers Program, Tightening the Purse Strings: What Countering Terrorism Financing Costs Gender Equality and Security
- Human Security Collective and ICNL: At the Intersection of Security and Regulation: Understanding the Drivers of "De-risking" and the Impact on Civil Society Organizations
- ACAMS: De-Risking and Financial Inclusion
- World Bank/ACAMS, Stakeholder Dialogue on De-risking: Supporting Financial Access for Humanitarian Organizations and Charities
- NPOs' Financial Access Woes Highlighted in World Bank/ACAMS Report
- Joint Fact Sheet on Foreign Correspondent Banking
- American Banker Blog: Bank De-Risking Hurts Charities and Increases Risk of Laundering
- WSJ Spotlights De-Risking of Charities
- Expose Finds World-Check Riddled with Errors