22 May 2019

Public-Private Partnerships to Disrupt Financial Crime: An Exploratory Study of Australia’s FINTEL Alliance

This paper examines whether a partnership comprising public and private sector organisations (PPP) can improve information sharing between those sectors and be effective in combating money laundering and terrorism financing-related crimes, using Australia’s Fintel Alliance as a case study.

The Fintel Alliance is a PPP led by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, Australia’s financial intelligence unit and anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing regulator. The Fintel Alliance brings together 22 public and private sector organisations with the goal of combatting money laundering and terrorism financing-related crimes and is regarded as ‘the first true public-private partnership of its kind in the world’ in its co-location of participants and sharing of information.

Drawing on the results of semi-structured interviews and a focus group with analysts, managers and senior managers of Fintel Alliance member and non-member organisations, this paper examines whether and why PPPs have improved information sharing between public and private sector organisations, and the factors that have contributed to the success (or otherwise) of those arrangements. The paper also makes recommendations on changes needed to improve information sharing using PPPs.

Although the Fintel Alliance is still maturing as an organisation, its experiences are a useful guide for others contemplating developing or enhancing existing PPPs that target financial crime. For most interviewees, Fintel Alliance membership is viewed positively and provides opportunities to understand the challenges faced by counterparts. However, for some members concerns remain about their potential exposure to regulatory non-compliance action or the possibility that their commercial competitiveness could be reduced through participation in PPP activities. Notwithstanding such concerns, Fintel Alliance members consider the opportunity to develop greater awareness of financial crime risks, collaborate on projects that could benefit them, industry and the community, and potentially influence AML/CTF regulation, mean involvement in the PPP is valuable and worthwhile.

 

by Paula Chadderton, SImon Norton

Institution(s):
  • Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Department of Home Affairs (Australian Government)

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