Money Laundering Stats and Data

Money laundering is known for making financial organizations fight hard for preventing crime. It has become a universal concern for regulatory bodies like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

Financial organizations have somehow succeeded in their fight against money laundering by creating stronger Anti-Money Laundering laws and regulations like ID Verification and background checks. These strategies are proven to be an effective fraud prevention solution.

This doesn’t mean that the money laundering situation has ended abruptly, the situation persists and remains a huge issue for the global economy. Money laundering cases continue to appear around the world. Here are some of the basic statistics stating the impact of money laundering on a global scale.

Common Statistics About Money Laundering

  1. According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the average loss by laundered cash in one year is around $800 billion – $3 Trillion. Which is 2-5% of the worldwide GDP.
  2. Switzerland published 160 money laundering reports in 1989, with a monetary loss worth 330 million Swiss francs. Approximately $210 million in US currency.
  3. Regulatory bodies uncovered that Ferdinand Marcos hid almost $500 million in a series of Swiss Bank accounts.
  4.  The GDP of Switzerland is about 1/8th of the annual money laundered. That is $191,000,000,000.
  5. Dow Jones published that 1989 GDP had a score of 5% for money laundering. The amount ranging between $1 trillion – $3 trillion.
  6. A 1996 report published by Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok stated that the amount of money laundered in cash was equivalent to 15% of the nation’s GDP.
  7. The assessed GDP of the United States in 1998 was $8.511 trillion, which is triple the rate of multiple national economies.
  8. According to the Canadian Solicitor General, in 1998 the illegal assets created and laundered were around $5 – $17 billion. This is ironic because Canada is one of the biggest countries to follow and implement AML regulations.
  9. In 1998, the Swiss Finance Ministry affirmed that the nation was involved in $500 billion of money laundering every year. Switzerland is one of the biggest countries to contribute to global money laundering losses.
  10. The Republic of Ireland assesses that in 1998, $126 million were laundered throughout the country.
  11. In 1999, an illegal pharmaceutical deal was the reason for $48 billion in terms of money laundering.
  12. It is assessed that two-hundred million pharmaceutical clients intake almost $400 billion in laundered cash.
  13. In February 2000, General Motors turned over $161,315,000,000 which is almost 1/10th of money laundered annually.
  14. In 2008, banks paid up to $321 billion in fines for non-compliance with money laundering regulations, cyber financial fraud prevention, and market control.
  15. In 2009, worldwide AML guidelines were only 0.2%, as indicated by the UN and US State Department.
  16. In 2009, money laundering accounted for 3.6% of worldwide GDP with $1.6 trillion money laundered as indicated by the UNODC.
  17. FATF detected and blocked $3.1 billion worth of laundered cash in 2009 out of which more than 80% was seized in North America.
  18. In 2014, worldwide expenses on AML regulation-related fines was $10 billion. 
  19. In the year 2016-2017, 167 cases were documented for money laundering and illegal use of financial resources.
  20. The annual value of the Fraud Detection and Prevention market was assessed to be worth more than $19.5 billion in 2017.
  21. In the year 2017-19 in the UK, the legal fine for involvement in money laundering and financial fraud was £241,233,671.
  22. In the year 2018, India had more than 884 organizations reported on high alert for money laundering and illegal financial resources worth INR 50 Billion. The organizations are now being regulated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA 2002).
  23. In 2018, India was compliant with only four out of forty FATF-suggested regulations.
  24. According to a report by the Public Authority of India, around $18 billion is lost through illegal money laundering annually. This amount makes India a huge target for international money laundering.
  25. In 2018, the reported count of global money laundered cash washed annually was 2-5% of the global worldwide GDP, meaning $800 billion – $2 trillion.
  26. Florida International University was positioned in 9,500 Non-Banking Financial Companies out of 11,500 enrolled as a potential money laundering associate in 2018.
  27. In 2019, banks all over the globe paid more than $6.2 billion as AML fines around the world.
  28. Brazil became the nineteenth country with the least money laundering cases in 2019.
  29. For the last 2 years, Chile has had a laundering index of 4.16 thus making it one of the lowest money laundering indexes. 
  30. Haiti became one of the largest Caribbean countries in 2020 for money laundering in Latin America, with a money laundering score of 8.15 according to FATF.
  31. About half of cases of money laundering in Latin America show that banks were involved in these cases. 
  32. In 2020, Cayman Islands had an index score of 7.46 for money laundering, in the same year, Chile became the lowest ranking country.
  33. Iran is still at the highest point of the Anti-Money Laundering hazard file with a money laundering index score of 8.6. Afghanistan comes second with a score of 8.38 and Guinea-Bissau is third with a score of 8.35. 
  34. Money laundering accounts for about 1.2% of the European Union’s entire GDP.
  35. Russia has illegally laundered more than $15 billion through fake or paper bank accounts. 

Conclusion: Money Laundering & Its Impacts

Money laundering has been a major worldwide issue and it will continue to become even a bigger threat if the right regulations aren’t followed strictly. The annual losses by money laundering are equal to 2-5% of the global economy.

Banks and financial institutions need to follow AML regulations set up by international financial associations. While banks, financial institutions, and governments keep searching for newer and stronger methods for tackling financial crime, till then anti-money laundering regulations are the most successful solution.