Enige tijd geleden vroeg iemand mij hoeveel de witwasbestrijding door banken kost. Een paar dagen geleden zag ik dat diezelfde vraag in het Europees Parlement is gesteld door iemand met een geloof in kunstmatige intelligentie:
In the light of recent money laundering scandals, the correct implementation of, and compliance with, the anti-money laundering (AML) directives is of crucial importance. For both banks and businesses, compliance requires hiring a significant number of AML compliance officers, but Dutch banks, for example, are struggling to find such qualified officers in sufficient numbers. Moreover, the high cost involved, in combination with the current low interest rate environment, puts significant additional pressure on the banks’ profitability and thereby their capacity to lend money to the economy.
1. Does the Commission have any estimates of the compliance cost of these AML requirements and the possible negative impact on banks’ profitability?
2. The Commission published its white paper on Artificial Intelligence (AI) on 19 February 2020. AI could potentially make AML compliance more cost-efficient. How could AI facilitate the exchange of data and information between governments, banks and the appropriate competent authorities, and what possibilities could it offer for the linkage of IT systems?
3. Will the Commission take the possibilities of AI into consideration in its upcoming Anti-Money Laundering Action Plan?
Het antwoord gegeven namens de Europese Commissie op 15 mei jl.:
Costs borne by banks to comply with the requirements of Directive (EU) 2015/849  account for around 13% of their overall financial services’ regulatory costs . These requirements help to prevent banks from being misused for money laundering purposes. While there are no data on the impact that the costs of implementing these requirements have on banks’ profitability, failure to do so has had major impacts. European banks involved in recent alleged money laundering cases have seen their share value fall drastically, with losses close to 50% in some cases. This has had severe consequences on the banks’ profitability and led to job cuts.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can provide tools to assist in the detection of suspicious or unusual transactions. A number of solutions are available on the market to banks. The White Paper on AI  fosters world-class research, development and adoption of AI by Europe across all sectors, including finance. However, it is important that these solutions be used in line with international and EU standards on fighting money laundering, which allow only specific tasks to be outsourced under certain conditions. Moreover, any sharing of information among banks and between banks and competent authorities also needs to respect other rules, such as data protection and competition rules.
The Commission is considering all options and input received by stakeholders in view of presenting an action plan that will deliver a comprehensive approach to preventing and fighting money laundering and terrorist financing.
 Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC (Text with EEA relevance), OJ L 141, 5.6.2015, p. 73–117
 SWD(2016) 223 final, page 3
Geen idee wat “overall financial services’ regulatory costs” precies omvat, maar dat daar draconische boetes tegenover worden gesteld, vind ik weinig overtuigend. Ik zal achter de vindplaats van noot  aan moeten om er meer over te weten te komen en daar heb ik nu even geen tijd voor.
Overigens schreef de Nederlandse minister van financiën dat het betalingsverkeer verliesgevend is.
Zo lang IT zo dom is, heb ik weinig vertrouwen in verhalen over ‘artificial intelligence‘. We gaan zien waar het schip strandt.
Aanvulling 12 oktober 2020
De aanduiding “SWD(2016) 223 final” hoort bij Commission staff working document impact assessment Accompanying the document Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and the Council amending Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing and amending Directive 2009/101/EC van 5 juli 2016, dat hier is te vinden. Pagina 3 lijkt niet de juiste verwijzing, want dat is een inhoudsopgave.