29 March 2017

Staff in bank branches can help law enforcement agencies to combat crimes such as human trafficking, according to Jennifer Calvery, Global Head of Financial Crime Threat Mitigation, HSBC.

Speaking at an event on disrupting human trafficking hosted by UK think-tank The Royal United Services Institute, Ms Calvery said that HSBC is “committed to doing its part to address human trafficking, including sharing information that informs law enforcement and security services”.

HSBC is training cashiers to be on the look-out for a number of warning signs that may indicate human trafficking for sexual or labour exploitation. These include cases where customers:

  • Are usually accompanied by a companion or translator

  • Do not appear to be in possession of the original copy of their own identification cards, with the companion presenting identification on their behalf

  • Share an address, telephone number or employment information with other customers

  • Show bruising or other signs of physical abuse

Staff are particularly vigilant where customers come from areas known for human trafficking. The bank reports suspicious behaviour to the relevant local authorities.

Ms Calvery went on to say that as well as training staff, the bank is deploying new technology to further strengthen its ability to detect, deter and combat financial crime. HSBC uses advanced analytics to scan the large amounts of data at its disposal to identify suspicious activity.

The bank is also seeking to play its part in deepening cooperation between private and public sectors around the world, Ms Calvery said. More robust sharing of information between different organisations could help to combat crimes such as human trafficking. “We all benefit from sharing ideas and techniques that help us best achieve this important objective,” she said.