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The foreign policy tool of sanctions, conflict and ensuring continued access to finance

Justine Suzanne Walker (British Bankers Association, London, UK)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 3 July 2017




This paper argues that the current framework permitting humanitarian transactions into sanctioned and conflict environments needs re-thinking and updating.


This paper is based on in-depth interviews conducted with banks, humanitarian actors, regulators and government officials. It incorporates a review of relevant literature and has involved extensive field-based observations including with jurisdictions experiencing conflict or subject to sanctions.


This paper finds that a recalibration of the sanctions architecture is required and that a new equilibrium needs to be created to ensure the ability of international banks to support permissible humanitarian and development payments. It further sets out that the foreign policy intention of economic sanctions, when combined with licensing complexity and other risk factors, such as terrorist financing, are not achieving their intended goals.


Assessment on the strategic importance of ensuring access to financial services for jurisdictions subject to sanctions and in conflict.



The views expressed are those of the author alone and should not be read as being those of any other body.


Walker, J.S. (2017), "The foreign policy tool of sanctions, conflict and ensuring continued access to finance", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 480-490.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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