Guatemala: Banks More Zealous Over Suspicious Transactions

In the first nine months of the year 1046 banking transactions were reported to have had characteristics of being possibly related to money laundering.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Data from the Superintendency of Banks in Guatemala indicates that 1046 reports were submitted, worth $400 million between January and September this year. reports that "...This year the number of reports increased by 25 percent, as in September 2015 only $100 million had been reported as suspicious transactions. The Superintendent indicated that this change is due to the "conscience" acquired by citizens, who are reporting more of these actions related to money laundering. "Unusual situations that can not be explained by customers, become suspicious transaction and are reported," said the head of the SIB.

Luis Lara, a member of the Board of the Association of Banks of Guatemala, explained that "... the increase in the number of suspicious transactions is because banks have become more stringent. Lara added that this means that there has been a change in the percentage of money in the bank considered as unusual movements made by people."

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Money Laundering: More Suspicious Transactions

March 2019

In Costa Rica, greater banking control and the increased presence of organized crime explain the 58% increase in suspicious transaction reports in 2018 over 2017.

In the last two years, Suspicious Transaction Reports (SARs) submitted by banks to the Costa Rican Drug Institute (ICD) increased by 58%, from 320 in 2017 to 507 in 2018.

Guatemala: More Suspicious Transactions Being Reported

August 2017

In the first half of the year, bank transactions totalling $395 million were reported as having characteristics related to money laundering.

The value of transactions reported as suspicious between January and July this year is nearly double that of suspicious transactions in the first half of last year, when $200 million was recorded.

Guatemala: More Controls on Suspicious Transactions

January 2017

Last year 1,533 banking operations were reported to have characteristics signalling them as possibly relating to money laundering.

Greater emphasis on controls on transactions carried out by banks is the main reason why the number of transactions reported as unusual has increased. Of the 1,533 transactions reported last year, 89 ended in complaints to the public prosecutor.   

Tougher Anti Laundering Laws in Guatemala

June 2016

A bill against money laundering tightens control of activities such as leasing and factoring and imposes harsher penalties on those not reporting suspicious transactions.

The proposal was prepared by the Superintendency of Banks in Guatemala (SIB), and aims to establish tighter controls and more severe sanctions in order to improve mechanisms for preventing money laundering.

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