Al Jazeera World

The Database: Collecting the world’s financial data

We investigate how some private companies use personal financial information and the human impact this has.

What do you do if your bank account suddenly gets closed and you and your business can no longer function – and you have no idea why?

You discover it is because you are on a database that you did not even know existed, saying that you have links with “terrorism” and therefore few banks will deal with you.

This happened to two organisations in London which were listed on a database used by the banking system to combat money laundering and other financial crimes.

They both resorted to legal action, their cases were settled out of court and they were paid damages – but they still suffered disruption and reputational damage.

This film examines these databases – how they gather information, how it is used and what human impact they can have.