What is it about?

This paper aims to increase the transparency of information in official anti-money laundering rating data to assist evidence-informed decision-making in compliance, policy-making and research. Persistent failure to transform available data into information for knowledge and insight suggests that the risk has been realized that impressionistic judgments or politicized interests drive the policy agenda at least as much as objective evidence or substantive economic and social goals.

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Why is it important?

Official anti-money laundering ratings offer surprisingly little policy-relevant information. Any reluctance to generate policy-relevant information from the industry’s primary data set or disinclination to engage constructively with a growing body of independent critical policy effectiveness evidence calls into question whether implementing anti-money laundering controls with some prospect of achieving substantial societal benefits, or perpetuating the current system, prevails.


With surprisingly little scholarship at the intersection of money laundering and policy effectiveness, this paper combines elements of these disciplines to examine anti-money laundering effectiveness from a different viewpoint. Rather than seeking to measure money laundering or estimate the proportion of criminal proceeds successfully intercepted, this paper draws directly from the anti-money laundering industry’s own “main” data set.

Dr Ronald F Pol
La Trobe University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Anti-money laundering ratings: uncovering evidence hidden in plain sight, Journal of Money Laundering Control, October 2019, Emerald,
DOI: 10.1108/jmlc-01-2019-0006.
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