FinCEN Files: Investigation into Dirty Money Transfers from Major Global Banks

At least $ 2 trillion in suspicious transactions were carried out between 2000 and 2017 by several major global banks. This is what an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, made up of 400 journalists from the media in 88 countries, including the investigation units of Radio France and the newspaper Le Monde, reveals.
For their investigation, ICIJ journalists were able to obtain "suspicious activity reports". These are top-secret documents that US bank internal compliance officials send to US financial intelligence agencies when they detect questionable money transfers.

According to these documents, 2,000 billion dollars in suspicious transactions may have been carried out. It is dirty money linked to drugs, corruption, organized crime and terrorism.

Large banks are singled out like JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Bank of New York Mellon or HSBC. They ensure, however, that they make significant efforts to combat financial crime an…

Mortgage: your request could be accepted ... but at a higher rate

Banks are gradually looking at new loan requests, which they had previously neglected, in favor of pending files. But faced with increasing risks, they have reoriented their rate scales upwards. One month after the start of containment, mortgage rates started to rise again slightly. At the beginning of April, banks raised their rates between 0.05% and 0.3% depending on the profiles and the durations, with some peaks at 0.5% for certain establishments, on the least attractive profiles in income terms. "The current situation and economic uncertainty are putting strong pressure on the cost of resources, which the banks are passing on to their rate conditions, analyzes Sandrine Allonier, spokesperson for the credit broker Vousfinancer. In addition, they anticipate an increase in risks on companies and therefore on the profiles to be financed, which also weighs on rates. ” Overall, this increase remains moderate, however: + 0.20% on average, all durations combined. The average rate is around 1.5% over 25 years and 1.3% over 20 years.

Mortgage request could be accepted ... but at a higher rate

Resumption of instructions for new requests

But above all, good news: the banks are once again processing loan applications! Since the first containment measures and faced with the paralysis of the real estate market, banking establishments had somewhat neglected the processing of new requests, concentrating their efforts on the files in progress, in particular on businesses in difficulty. But, as in other sectors, professionals are organizing to be ready for the long-awaited recovery ... Today, nearly 70% of banks can accept new requests, according to Vousfinancer. However, they too remain in reduced numbers, which leads to longer delays. "It currently takes up to 3 weeks to obtain a credit agreement, compared to 7 to 10 days in normal times," notes Sandrine Allonier. Barring exceptions, the times for issuing loan offers are also higher ... The whole chain is currently slowed down. ”

Opposite, the demand for credit remains relatively timid at the moment. In the first 3 weeks of April, it had even dropped 78% compared to the same period in 2019. The files currently submitted relate for the most part to projects initiated before confinement and which could not be funded in recent weeks. However, households with a real estate project are not discouraged and want to know their borrowing capacity under current conditions. Perhaps one of the most savvy questions will be the question of taking income into account during periods of partial unemployment.

Monthly or annual income?

Banks usually refer to the latest pay slips to calculate the borrowing capacity of borrowers. But during this economic downturn, many are seeing their resources dwindle. However, even a slight drop in income induced by a situation of partial unemployment - whose indemnity represents 84% ​​of the net salary - has significant repercussions on the borrowing capacity ... For example, with a net salary of 3,000 euros and a maximum monthly payment of 990 euros excluding insurance, it is possible to borrow 207,300 euros at 1.4% over 20 years. With a partial unemployment salary which drops to 2,520 euros net and a monthly payment of 830 euros, the maximum loan amount is 173,800 euros. Or 33,500 euros less!

So what will they look at: monthly or yearly income? Sandrine Allonier wants to be reassuring in any case: "If we still ignore the income they will take into account, many banks look at the annual net tax income, on the December pay slip, she nuances. Some banks even announce that they will automatically consider the usual salary, in the same way as for employees on maternity or paternity leave, for example. " A possible drop in income should therefore ultimately have little impact on your borrowing capacity.