When it comes to the fight over illegal wildlife trade, the criminals have been winning. This brutal business has become the world’s fourth most profitable criminal trafficking enterprise, generating revenues of between $7bn and $23bn a year. Conservation gains are being reversed and species pushed to the edge of extinction. Tigers have become so rare that there are more of them living in US captivity than in the wild. The killing of rhinos for their horns has exploded. In 2006, 60 of them were killed on the African continent; now four are killed on average every day. This has been exclusively a conservation issue for too long. Now banks are making it theirs. This week, more than 20 global financial institutions are coming together to form the Royal Foundation’s United for Wildlife Financial Task Force, chaired by former UK foreign secretary William Hague. We want to bring to bear what we’ve learnt in tackling human trafficking and terrorist financing to take the fight to wildlife t...

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