Last week, the Gibraltar Financial Intelligence Unit (GFIU) attended a workshop on ‘Comparative Solutions and Good Practices for Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Strategic and Operational Analysis’, hosted by the Economic Crime and Cooperation Division of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France.
The three day workshop, which involved over 20 FIUs and other subject matter experts, was designed to strengthen the analytical function of the FIUs with a particular focus on the strategic analysis and deployment of innovative solutions for producing financial intelligence relevant to the emerging risks to combat economic crime. Participants also discussed the challenges faced by FIUs in collecting and analysing data from Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2015, strategic analysis is a core function of the GFIU and its results is what feeds into the National Risk Assessment, highlighting specific risks that may have been identified from the information and intelligence it collects. Strategic analysis is a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendation which identifies trends and patterns on money laundering or terrorist financing that is then shared with the public sector stakeholders and the private sector. It also allows the GFIU to focus on particular criminalities for its current and future work, determining the resources it may require to protect the finance centre from being exploited by criminals or terrorists.
The GFIU’s Director, Edgar Lopez, who attended as a speaker on ‘Data Collection and Prioritisation of Suspicious Activity Reports’, said that in the last two years, a significant amount of effort has gone in improving the GFIU’s strategic analysis products, using its Financial Crime Analysts with specialist skills and creativity to achieve the required results. There has also been a huge investment on technology, using state of the art tools for gathering, storing, analysing and disseminating intelligence. Mr Lopez said, “The GFIU has made substantive progress in many fields, we continue to learn and have come up with innovative solutions that have transformed the work that we do. However, it requires keeping up to date with the latest technological tools and techniques available.” He added, “We highly encourage the private and public sectors to read our strategic analysis products, they are what will steer Gibraltar’s finance centre in ensuring a better understanding of emerging threats by criminals and terrorists, and assists in improving firms’ anti-money laundering/ counter-terrorist financing processes.
The GFIU aims to enhance the development of strategic analysis through the recently established Public Private Partnership, FLINT, tapping into the expertise of local banking professionals. Anyone wishing to access the GFIU’s publications can do so by visiting www.gfiu.gov.gi.