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11 October 2021

Pandora's box is open

Content team

Pandora Papers

The Pandora Papers have ignited a powerful response that has been felt around the world since their publication on 3 October 2021. Governments and the global financial community are reading the Papers with interest, looking for insights and intelligence.

The leak to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is estimated at 12 million documents from 14 offshore services firms, detailing confidential offshore banking and tax management practises. The Papers shine a light on the flow of money across borders and regulatory jurisdictions. They also raise the critical issue of how financial institutions can scope any risks that might arise from associating with individuals and entities named in the Papers.

Do you know your customer?

The full implications will not be the same for every financial institution. A mention in the Papers does not indicate wrongdoing, but could trigger a review by parties dealing with that institution, in line with monitoring best practice. To see how your business will be affected, you need to find which of your partners, counterparties, or customers are mentioned, and ensure you are aware of any emerging risks that these mentions could create for you.

Adverse media and investigative journalism monitoring are at the core of the Moody’s Analytics know your customer (KYC) offering. Leaks have often yielded poor-quality data — shell company names and concealed beneficiaries are insufficient for portfolio risk assessment. In the Panama Papers the ICIJ has named specific entities to 150 reputable global news outlets. Our adverse media process scours those outlets to help you make a risk-relevant decision based on mentions of your customers.

Moody’s Analytics KYC delivers comprehensive screening of where individuals, entities, and known associates are mentioned — including in the Pandora Papers — so financial institutions can track and understand their own risk exposure.

Holding an offshore account and other aggressive tax management methods are not signals of wrongdoing, but may present a reputational risk to parties that deal with such institutions. What can your organization do right now to ensure an adequate risk-based approach?

Take action now

Do you fully understand who you are doing business with, and the associated risks? Do you have an adverse media program in place to find real-time, risk-relevant detail?

  • Tailor your portfolio. Moody’s Analytics offers granular risk code and risk stage categorization of criminal activity, from accusations to convictions, for onboarding and portfolio monitoring. You can screen tax-related offenses and anti-money laundering risks, including fines and regulatory violations by individuals and organizations.
  • Identify potential risks through adverse media screening. Moody’s Analytics Grid hosts adverse media on previously reported data leaks, including the Pandora Papers, Panama Papers, Offshore Leaks, Luxembourg Leaks, Bahamas Leaks, Paradise Papers, Mauritius Leaks, and Luanda Leaks.
  • Screen for relatives and associates through special research collections. PEP Connect, Sanctions Connect, and Iran Connect are enhanced research collections that go beyond adverse media to identify the relationships between individuals, including those with several degrees of separation from political leaders and sanctioned entities.
  • Know your networks. Moody’s Analytics Orbis provides information on corporate structures that can identify positions of power in organizations and links between corporations.
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Content team, Bureau van Dijk

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