This paper aims to examine why most governments appear to attach less importance to countering proliferation finance than they do to countering money laundering or terrorist financing.Design/methodology/approachThe paper examines this question from a number of perspectives including a definitional perspective, a national regulatory perspective and a private sector implementation perspective.FindingsIt is shown that there are presently significant gaps in counter proliferation finance implementation at the national level, with follow-on implications for private sector compliance.Research limitations/implicationsA key finding is that most governments do not address the issue of proliferation finance as distinct from other forms of financial crime such as terrorist financing or money laundering.Practical implicationsPractical opportunities for improved financial sector implementation of counter proliferation finance controls are identified, but it is argued that it is states that must do more to meet their obligations for improvements to be realised.Social implicationsThe risk of not doing so is that the financial system will continue to be misused to finance the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.Originality/valueThe study seeks to fill a gap in existing academic literature on the question of why proliferation finance receives less attention than other forms of financial crime. The study builds on original research undertaken by the authors including the typologies of proliferation finance, which were later incorporated into an updated Financial Action Task Force report on this topic, as well as events organised by the authors to explore the topic of proliferation finance implementation with governments and the private sector.
Journal of Financial Crime – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 7, 2020
Keywords: Financial Action Task Force; Proliferation finance; Sanctions