HSC and Dimes Consultancy blog (February 2019) on the FinDev Gateway: The Hole in the Bucket: The Impact of De-risking on Non-Profit Organizations: Who loses out in the push for global financial inclusion? 'There are growing concerns about the unintended consequences of de-risking practices on financial inclusion goals, particularly for vulnerable consumers, including the poor, women, migrants and refugees. The focus of these debates, however, has been the effect of de-risking on the micro level and the individual consumer, and not on the organizations which are crucial to supporting these inclusion processes. We would like to draw attention to these organizations, as a growing body of evidence shows that the non-profit sector is bearing the brunt of de-risking decisions.'
HSC and ECNL's report (March 2018) AT THE INTERSECTION OF SECURITY AND REGULATION: UNDERSTANDING THE DRIVERS OF ‘DE-RISKING’ AND THE IMPACT ON CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS, tries to understand how global regulations on money laundering and terrorism financing, for instance, permeate policymaking, influencing institutions (perversely, at times) and negatively impacting humanitarian and development work. By delving into the practices and perspectives of relevant stakeholders – NPOs, financial institutions, governments, regulators and international organizations – the study unpicks the mechanisms of governance and accountability involved in and through the chain of decision-making, underscoring the policy incoherence that is manifest along the way. The three country contexts chosen for the research – Brazil, Mexico and Ireland – help amplify the complexity of the issue and the potential search for solutions. Ongoing remedial measures addressing the financial exclusion of NPOs are highlighted and potential remedies that could challenge the current practice of de-risking are explored in detail.
Ben Hayes, Lia van Broekhoven and Vanja Skoric write about 'De-risking and non-profits: how do you solve a problem that no-one wants to take responsibility for?' (openDemocracy, 11 July 2017). They analyze the problem and discuss possible solutions, including decisive action by the G20 to assess the impact, legitimacy and effectiveness of the whole system of international rules designed to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
The World Bank and the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) held a second roundtable in January 2017 to help promote the access of humanitarian organizations to financial services and to discuss practical measures in terms of improving relations between NPOs and financial institutions; improving the regulatory and policy climate for financial access for NPOs; and building coalitions for sharing information and best practice. The report is here.
The Charity & Security Network report on Financial Access for U.S. Nonprofits (February 2017) is the first ever empirical study on the de-risking phenomenon as it relates to nonprofits in the US. Financial access difficulties faced by nonprofits include delays in wire transfers, requests for unusual additional documentation, increased fees, account closures and account refusals.
On the de-risking by banks and its consequences, especially on remittances. Fulco van Deventer of HSC shares his thoughts in this article in De Groene Amsterdammer (18/09/2015)
How bank de-risking hurts charities and increases risk of laundering. Andrea Hall of Charity & Security Network explains in this blog. (04/11/2015)
The impact of counter-terrorist regulation on charity banking worldwide: Tom Keatinge examines the implications in Uncharitable Behaviour (2014), a report for Demos. And in another report of 2015, Keatinge calls for a more intelligence-led bank de-risking approach.
A BBC Radio 4 programme (July 2015) by Peter Oborne and Anna Meisel reveals how the decision was made in 2014 by international banking giant HSBC to suddenly close the bank accounts of several prominent British Muslims. The entire programme is available here. For a synopsis, see here.