Anti-money laundering is a world full of indexes published by opaque organisations. The latest is the Basel AML Index 2020.
Basel Institute on Governance
This index is published by a legal entity with the name Basel Institute on Governance. The announcement of the index looks like all other AML/CFT-publications, telling us we are not living in a perfect world and that everyone has to be transparent (does not apply to the author of the index of course).
This institute calls itself an independent not-for-profit competence centre working around the world to strengthen governance and counter corruption and other financial crimes. The institute mentions company activities in the field of crime and crime prevention: asset recovery for partner countries, advising companies and multi-stakeholder groups on developing compliance programmes.
The institute is not financially transparent itself: on their ‘about‘ page the annual report has gone:
On the funding page they say that their core funding comes from countries, like the UK (DFID) that is also funding Open Ownership and Transparency International. It’s interesting to see if this institute is a US/UK-project, like Open Ownership.
On the institute’s site I found no information on the legal form or the beneficial owners of the institute. Swiss register Zefix shows the institute is registered as a ‘Stiftung‘ under Swiss law. It looks as if entities calling itself ‘not-for-profit’ have no obligation in Switzerland to inform the public about their funding. To my opinion transparency is necessary, especially on the funding by millionaires and countries.
It’s amazing that this AML/CFT institute, active in/for international policy forums like the Egmont Group, is not transparent about it’s funding, annual account and legal structure.
Peculiar AML/CFT world of opaque not-for-profits and their indexes
# Why are so many organisations making these indexes?
# Why are these organisations so opaque?
# What is their scientific foundation? (It looks as if they repeat each other.)
# Who is supposed to read and understand them?
# What’s the difference with the many other indexes?
# Is it a perception-index, showing what the authorities think and unchecked by independent people?
# Is the money well spent?
Is there someone who can provide more information?