The Impact of Anti-Money Laundering Oversight on Banks' Suspicious Transaction Reporting: Evidence from Italy
34 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2019
Date Written: April 29, 2019
We provide the first thorough investigation of the effect of anti-money laundering inspections on banks' reporting of suspicious transactions. We do so by using highly detailed data from Bank of Italy and UIF (Italian authority for anti-money laundering), which include information on i) on-site inspections by authorities and follow-up actions, and ii) quantity and quality of suspicious transactions reports being filed by banks before and after inspections. Through a difference-in-differences econometric analysis we find that inspections (notably when followed by some type of intervention by the authority) induce, ceteris paribus, an increase in suspicious transaction reports being filed by banks. Crucially, the effect is not limited to low-quality reports, as feared in the literature ('crying wolf' effect) but is spread to high-quality reports. Authorities' oversight is thus shown to increase the quantity of information shared by banks without deteriorating its quality.
Keywords: money laundering, financial regulation, economic crime, banking
JEL Classification: G28, K23, L51, M21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation