Money laundering : Monaco on the hot seat

Posté ven 27/04/2001 - 00:00
Par admin

The Principality escapes the black list of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering) but is strongly soaked by the parliamentary mission. Pressure from France should increase.

More than ever, Monaco is on the hot seat. On Thursday April 22nd, they escape the black list that have been set up by the FATF (Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering whixh issues from the OECD). But the day before, on Wednesday, the Principality had been soaked by the report of the parliamentary commission entitled "Principality of Monaco and money laundering : a complaint territory under French protection". While late may, it was put on the purgatory by the financial stability Forum which had already classified world "tax heavens" in three categories according to the cooperation level (see article "Paradis fiscaux : Monaco au purgatoire").France accused of laxnessThe report set up by Vincent Peillon (PS Somme), the president of the mission, and Arnaud Montebourg (PS Saône-et-Loire), the reporter, presents very negative results on the Rock which is presented as a "prosperous place for money laundering". "Le Monde" newspaper dated from June 21st ran as a headline "Argent sale : le scandale Monaco". So what you can find there are the main grievance that the National Assembly information mission has retained against the Monegasque financial system.It is still too soon to know the consequences that could result from such a report about the way the Monaco financial place is run. But France risks to increase the pressure. All the more as France is directly involved and accused of laxness. Members of Parliament insist on its "implication in the functioning of Monegasque decision-making structures" and put forward the risk to discredit "the French politic will to fight on the European and international scale against illegal money laundering". Laurent Fabius, the Treasury minister, has asked for this report this morning. Besides, this will be the first task of the treasury director, Jean-Pierre Jouyet.Management of 350 billion francsMonaco has just avoid the situation of Liechtenstein, Israel, Lebanon and Russia which have been registered on the black list which is composed of fifteen countries considered as very lax regarding crime money laundering. Monaco with 14 other countries is still in the purgatory, as in the standings of the financial stability Forum.For Monaco, these are very important stakes. For the last five years, the Monegasque financial place has strongly rose to power (more than 20% of the 45 billion francs of turnover of the "Monaco company" are ensured by the financial activity. In some 70 banking establishments that Monaco is composed of today, they managed around 350 billion francs among which more than 100 billion of deposit (a bigger amount than for the whole Alpes-Maritimes department) and 250 billion of securities conservation. As a comparison, you find 17 billion francs of credit since Monaco is especially used as a place of patrimony conservation.In order to keep its credibility, the Principality, which has already strengthened control measures, will have to respond to principal critics : weakness of teams in charge of tracking down money coming from organized crime and bad cooperation in information exchange. But, without doubt, year 2000 will be a turning point in the history of Monegasque banks…

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