What’s Suspicious? Here’s How Banks Apply the Smell Test

The phrase “if you see something, say something” isn’t just about packages left on the subway. Banks around the world have a similar duty. The first line of defense against money laundering and other financial crimes often boils down to the thousands of bank employees flagging transactions that somehow don’t look right or sending them to the government for investigation. In the U.S., those referrals are called suspicious activity reports, or SARs. They are in the news again after a group of medi