Australia developed polymer (plastic) bank notes from the 1970’s onwards, and they’ve been our currency since the 1990’s.
This bank note technology is essentially counterfeit proof – notes can have holograms, microprinting, a transparent window, “watermarks”, very colorful inks, metallic strips, and the notes are long lasting and machine washable. There’s a lot of positives.
The company that is formed by the Reserve Bank of Australia to print and market this technology is called Securency. They’ve been embroiled in a bribery scandal.
I just don’t understand how a company with a technological monopoly (it’s hard to figure out how to print on plastic) let itself be the conduit for bribes, particularly in the countries where the bribes are alleged to have occurred.
If I was a negotiator, and my opponent asked for a commission, structured deals, or outright bribe, I’d just report them to the head office, let them report to the other side’s local police, and then wait for the other side to appoint a new negotiator after justice has seen to be done. Their new negotiator would be so careful it would not be funny – you mean to do business, but the stench of corruption will not be tolerated.
We’re talking central banks here. Countries that have corrupt central banks are failed states – we cannot and should not be a part of these countries.
Like all financial institutions, the RBA and Securency employees and agents would have had to have undergone background checks, and yet many of their representatives and head office staff still committed a very serious crime – one punishable by jail time in Australia. Just remember background checks are an indicator of past criminal convictions, not future actions. Don’t waste money on them – just have strict anti-corruption policies in place, and walk everyone is tainted. The rest of the staff will get the picture more than a background check ever will.