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The private sector become active: the Wolfsberg process

Mark Pieth (Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology, Basel University)
Gemma Aiolfi (Programme Manager, OECD)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 1 October 2003



Examines how the Wolfsberg Anti‐Money Laundering Principles came into being after the first meeting in October 1999, their development and the possible future of the Wolfsberg group of banks. Describes the background to the drive for harmonisation of private banking practice combating money laundering; this has closely involved throughout the 40 Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force over issues like “know your customer” and customer due diligence, so that a patchwork of regulations emerged which was not effective in preventing money laundering based on drug trafficking. Shows how, by fostering the industry standard, which is risk‐based rather than rule‐based voluntary code, the Wolfsberg group of 12 banks has helped to bridge the gap in attitudes to banking practice, especially between American and European banks.



Pieth, M. and Aiolfi, G. (2003), "The private sector become active: the Wolfsberg process", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 359-365.




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