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The great unbanking: Swingeing fines have made banks too risk-averse

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Swingeing fines have made banks too risk-averse. Regulators need to rethink anti-money-laundering rules

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Forget whiter than white

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Financial derisking

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Why Germany’s current-account surplus is bad for the world economy

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The great unbanking

IN THE go-go years before the financial crisis, banks grew careless about dirty money. BNP Paribas helped sanctions-busters, HSBC channelled Mexican drug takings and Deutsche Bank moved cash for Russian launderers. When regulators began to take oversight seriously, the moneymen paid a high price. BNP alone was fined $8.9bn and temporarily barred from dollar clearing (see article). Dozens of other banks have faced stiff penalties.
The crackdown was merited. But some of its results have been perverse. Banks have pulled away from clients they fear might commit financial crimes and …