The Global Center started an exploratory study on the growing trend of de-risking in the financial services industry–the closure of accounts for clients perceived as “high risk” such as money transfer businesses, nongovernment organizations, and correspondent banks, among others. The purpose of the study is to identify how the recent ascendance of AML/CFT law and policy has impacted bank de-risking practices and in turn access to financial services, particularly for vulnerable populations such as women, youth, and other marginalized communities. The study will provide a detailed and nuanced presentation of the extent to which de-risking is occurring, the driving factors and influences behind it, and the potential impact on financial inclusion goals for vulnerable institutions and populations. The study will analyze the banking-sector narrative, including reputational concerns and money laundering and terrorist financing risks, as well as identify the interests and decision-making processes for other key stakeholders including money transfer businesses, governments, and international organizations.

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