This paper examines the phenomenon of derisking, or the loss of financial services as large international banks close or curtail correspondent banking relationships with banks in smaller jurisdictions. It outlines the effects of de-risking and identifies a range of possible measures to mitigate them. While affected jurisdictions bear the financial costs, de-risking is a shared problem, requiring a shared response. This response includes efforts by affected countries to comply with international anti-money laundering (AML) and combatting the financing of terrorism (CFT) standards. As the country with the largest financial system and the leader among AML/CFT standard setters, the United States has a key role to play; however, it is not the only country with an interest in maintaining the integrity of the global financial system. Today, global banks operate across a range of jurisdictions, regardless of the country in which they are licensed; therefore, an effective strategy for addressing the challenge of de-risking requires international cooperation. In this regard, the shared goal should be to achieve key objectives that all members of the international community seek — mitigating the effects of de-risking while protecting the integrity of the global payments system and guarding against criminal and terrorist threats.

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CIGI Papers present in-depth analysis and discussion on governance-related subjects. They include policy papers that present CIGI experts' positions or contributions to policy debates, and background papers that contain research findings, insights and data that contribute to the development of policy positions.
  • James A. Haley is a senior fellow at CIGI and a Canada Institute global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC.