A $3.1 Trillion Financial Crime Epidemic

The Scale of Financial Crime — Part 1

February 5, 2024 by Nasdaq Verafin

Historically, quantifying the scale of financial crime has been a major challenge. In a new 2024 Global Financial Crime Report, Nasdaq and Verafin have brought together expert research and data, industry perspectives, and the voices of survivors to provide insights into its scope and impact around the world — and the results confirm the threat is considerable.

Financial crime is a multi-trillion-dollar epidemic. As an industry, we must work together to defend our financial system against the financial criminals seeking to exploit it.

The Scale of Financial Crime

The scale of the global financial crime epidemic is immense. In 2023, more than an estimated $3.1 trillion in illicit funds flowed through the global financial system.

Among the most prevalent crimes that fueled trillions of dollars in illicit flows and money laundering activity were a range of destructive crimes, including an estimated:

Additionally, in 2023, fraud scams and bank fraud schemes totaled $485.6 billion in losses globally.

Overall, these figures show the massive threat that financial crime poses to the integrity of the financial system.

Significant Human Impact

“We are human beings. And this is a humanitarian crisis that we are living right now.”
Timea Nagy, Human Trafficking Activist and Survivor

While the world’s multi-trillion-dollar financial crime epidemic is immense, it is more than a money problem. Financial crime has profound human costs from despicable crimes that have a deep impact on the communities we serve, all while its perpetrators hide in the shadows.

The reality is that behind the monetary toll of financial crime is a humanitarian crisis. As highlighted in the 2024 Global Financial Crime Report, by rethinking financial crime as a human problem, survivor experiences can inform industry-wide priorities and technology solutions and help us better understand the crimes we all have a responsibility to fight.

The Scale of Financial Crime – A Special Blog Series

To protect our communities and the integrity of our financial system — collective action is needed in the fight against financial crime. In our special Scale of Financial Crime blog series, we explore several financial crime typologies through the lens of their impact on people and data from the report. These 5-minute reads highlight the pressing need for action and key considerations for financial institutions, such as considering the human cost, innovating ahead of evolving crime, and collaborating to break down siloes.

Read the rest of the Scale of Financial Crime series — available now at the links below.

[Part 2] Romance Scams: A Heartless Reality
As romance scams cause billions in losses, the emotional toll is immeasurable.

[Part 3] Elder Fraud: Prevalent & Preventable
Elder fraud is drastically underreported — and still a $77.7 billion global issue.

[Part 4] Business Email Compromise: A Global Menace
BEC is a $6.7 billion problem where victims lose more than money.

[Part 5] Human Trafficking: A Humanitarian Crisis
Human trafficking is a $346.7 billion criminal enterprise where profit is above all else.

[Industry Commentary] Turning the Tide: Expert Insights on $3.1T in Financial Crime
Dive deeper into the Global Financial Crime Report with perspectives from industry experts.

Nasdaq Verafin provides cloud-based Financial Crime Management Technology solutions for Fraud Detection, AML/CFT Compliance, High-Risk Customer Management, Sanctions Screening and Management, and Information Sharing. More than 2,500 financial institutions globally, representing more than $8T in collective assets, use Nasdaq Verafin to prevent fraud and strengthen AML/CFT efforts. Leveraging our unique consortium data approach in targeted analytics with artificial intelligence and machine learning, Nasdaq Verafin significantly reduces false positive alerts and delivers context-rich insights to fight financial crime more efficiently and effectively. To learn how Nasdaq Verafin can help your institution fight fraud and money laundering, call 1-877-368-9986.