RUSI Secures Further Grant to Research Counter Proliferation Financing

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has generously extended its funding of a RUSI research project examining the countering of proliferation financing. The grant will allow RUSI to undertake further study of the financial activities of proliferators such as North Korea, and how best to counter this activity.

This grant builds on the existing work undertaken by RUSI’s financial crime and nuclear proliferation experts which includes the publication of guidance for financial institutions on countering the financial activities of nuclear proliferators, especially North Korea. Despite international sanctions, North Korea has continued to access the global financial system to carry out illicit activities and procure the technology needed for its nuclear and missile programme. Financial institutions therefore play a crucial role in disrupting proliferators via their ability to deny access to the financial system.

This guide for financial institutions fills an important gap identified in RUSI’s landmark 2016 publication "Out of Sight, Out of Mind?", which reviewed global efforts to counter proliferation financing, and found that they were limited, insufficient and lacked momentum.

RUSI will use the next two year phase to build on this work, and deepen engagement with banks and government stakeholders in Europe, Asia and Africa. RUSI will expand its research to new sectors (including the insurance industry) and new geographies (the Middle East), and produce further guidance for the financial sector to advance thinking on countering proliferation finance focusing in particular on developing further understanding of the links between the monitoring of financial flows and the movement of goods. The research team would welcome input from interested parties on this work.

The research team will once again bring together knowledge on illicit nuclear and missile procurement networks in the RUSI Proliferation and Nuclear Policy team, with expertise on financial crime issues from RUSI’s Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies (CFCS).


Emil Dall

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Tom Keatinge

Director, CFCS

Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies

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