Re: Compare and contrast @Vimes
"Transfer tens of thousands of pounds out of the country for example, when this is clearly outside the normal pattern established by the customer."
Yet this is often the case when, for instance, parent in country A lends/gives the deposit for a house to his/her child in country B. This is perforce going to happen rarely, and (I would say without any real evidence) far more often than fraudulent/dodgy transactions. It happened to us recently when my father-in-law gave us a fair chunk of the deposit for a new house - I'm not sure what scrutiny he came under in his EU country (given that he has quite a high position in the IT dept of a bank), but we almost lost the house due to the mortgage lender here in the UK refusing to accept the money because it came from a foreign source.* Their argument was that since the money came from a savings account in another country, there was no audit trail and they could not possibly accept it under the money laundering rules. I have since heard from other people from overseas that some other lenders are equally averse to foreign money, even when the audit trail is clear (property sold in France/Holland/Brazil - proceeds not acceptable).
*A very quick change to the mortgage on my rented-out house in the UK, and the pleasure of telling the first Building Society (Skipton, if anyone is interested) to FOAD, sorted it out in less than ten days with a different lender.
"Similarly with travel arrangements if you try and fly to Turkey then this could equally be a red flag given what's happening in Syria."
Lots of people go to Turkey every year for holidays. Some will go for the first time (like my mum last year for a friend's wedding).** Are you saying that it is proportionate and necessary that all these should be flagged and queried?
** Oh heck - money from abroad, first trip to Turkey - now some Iranians have just moved in next door to my mum ... we're on a watch-list, aren't we?? [The metadata problem again]