Financial intelligence is the gathering of information about the financial affairs of entities of interest, to understand their nature and capabilities, and predict their intentions. Generally the term applies in the context of law enforcement and related activities. FININT does not necessarily involve money laundering, which refers to the practice of the undeclared and covert transfer of money or other negotiable item. However FININT is used to detect money laundering, which is often done as part of or as a consequence of some other criminal activity.

FININT involves scrutinizing a large volume of transactional data, usually provided by banks as part of regulatory requirements. Transactions made by certain individuals or entities may be studied. Alternatively, data mining or data matching techniques may be employed to identify persons potentially engaged in a particular activity.

Where financial institutions are required to make manual reports of certain financial transactions, obtaining this information is a type of HUMINT, just as the reports of military police in a combat zone is HUMINT. Not all HUMINT comes from espionage. Many industrialized countries have such reporting requirements.

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