As visitors to my website and this blog cannot help but notice, I have written a few books about AML. There are two series of the “piggy” books – one for directors (with their AML oversight responsibilities) and one for staff working at the AML coal-face. (For MLROs themselves, I have written an altogether more detailed, weighty and piggy-free tome, the “Money Laundering Officer’s Practical Handbook”. Although, as with the FCA’s Handbook and the GFSC’s Handbook and so on, you would have to have monster hands to hold it – which makes me wonder what distinguishes a handbook from just a book. Is it a book you should keep always to hand? But I digress.)
To return to the piggies. In one series there are five editions, and in the other there are sixteen, giving a grand total of twenty-one piggies – a sty-full, to be sure. As all self-respecting, self-published authors should, I keep careful records of the sales of these books, to track demand and see whether, when it comes to update time, all should be maintained or some should be allowed to slope off quietly into the sunset. And I can report that one piggy of the twenty-one outsells all the others by quite some way: “AML: What You Need to Know – UK banking edition” sells four times as many copies as (in second place) “AML for NEDs – Guernsey edition”.
Now I appreciate that the UK is my largest jurisdiction, and within that jurisdiction banking is the largest sector that I target. But still I am surprised every month by the number of UK banking piggies that are rehomed. Or at least I was, until a nice chap contacted me via LinkedIn and uploaded a photo of his newly-acquired banking piggy – which he had been given as a prize for participating in “an excellent team performance”. Now this is lovely news. I often distribute prizes myself during training; I love using AML games (such as bingo, word games, money laundering simulations, and snakes and ladders) and I regularly stock up on money-themed prizes (such as chocolate coins, banknote erasers and piggy-banks) as rewards for the winners. I have always been a bit shy of handing out my own books as prizes – it seems rather self-congratulatory – but it is heartening to know that people are pleased to get them, and it does solve the Mystery of the Unexplained Sales.