On July 23, 2020, the Basel Institute on Governance presented its annual report on "Ranking money laundering and terrorist financing risks around the world”. This is the ninth public edition of the Basel AML Index. The AML Basel Index is an independent research-based annual rating that assesses the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing around the world.
Since 2012, risk scores are based on data from publicly available sources, such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Transparency International, the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum.
The risk assessment covers five domains:
1. quality of the anti-money laundering (AML) system / countering the financing of terrorism (CTF);
2. bribery and corruption;
3. financial transparency and standards;
4. public transparency and accountability;
5. legal and political risks.
The average ML/TF risk score across all 141 countries lies at 5.22 out of 10, where 10 equals maximum risk. The scale starts with Afghanistan scoring 8,16 and ends with Estonia with the winning score of 2.36.
EU and Western Europe displayed a generally lower risk (4.01) than the global average. The quality of AML/CFT frameworks is estimated as its biggest deficiency. As the report has it, this could indicate that AML/CFT does not have the same level of priority in Europe as other accountability and transparency factors captured by the Index. In Europe, Belgium, Cyprus, Malta, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK listed by the US as major money laundering destinations.
Germany ranks 107th in 2020 with a score of 4.42, having gone 8 points down in the global rating largely due to the recent Wirecard scandal comparing to its 98th place with a score of 4.49 in 2019. Switzerland ranks 93rd and Austria 109th among 141 countries worldwide. As of 2020, Russia ranks 52nd in the world rating with a score of 5.51, having gone 4 points down compared to 2019. This decline echoes a significant number of scandals with money laundering related to the release of the so-called "Russian money” recorded in 2019 in the financial markets of European countries.