Money laundering is the generic term used to describe the process by which criminals disguise the original ownership and control of the proceeds of criminal conduct by making such proceeds appear to have derived from a legitimate source.
The processes by which criminally derived property may be laundered are extensive. Though criminal money may be successfully laundered without the assistance of the financial sector, the reality is that hundreds of billions of dollars of criminally derived money is laundered through financial institutions, annually. The nature of the services and products offered by the financial services industry (namely managing, controlling and possessing money and property belonging to others) means that it is vulnerable to abuse by money launderers.
The term compliance describes the ability to act according to an order, set of rules or request.
In the context of financial services businesses compliance operates at two levels.
Level 1 - compliance with the external rules that are imposed upon an organisation as a whole
Level 2 - compliance with internal systems of control that are imposed to achieve compliance with the externally imposed rules.
Compliance professionals not only navigate a complex regulatory environment but also add a key commercial perspective.