Aligns with an organization that intervenes in criminals’ access to financial markets and products
DELAND, Fla., Sept. 07, 2022 – Surety Bank, today announced it is partnering with the Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative (ATII) to combat and raise awareness around human trafficking. The DeLand, Florida-based community bank has committed to being an Ambassador Sponsor to raise awareness around trafficking. Surety is excited to continue working with ATII moving forward and to continue helping in the fight against modern slavery.
Surety is proud to partner in advancing ATII’s vision of disrupting the operations, economics and anonymity of human trafficking at the source by intervening in criminal access to financial markets and thereby inhibiting the ability of traffickers to inflict harm on vulnerable groups.
“Although we don’t usually see it happening, human trafficking is an evil that is all around us,” said Surety Bank CEO Ryan James. “Unlike the slavery of old, this modern form of slavery is in the dark and is often undetected. Surety Bank is proud to do our part by working with the ATII to shine a light on these terrible acts through monitoring traffickers’ access to financial systems,” he added.
Surety Bank was recently ranked as the number one bank in Florida in the areas of return on average assets (ROAA) and return on average equity (ROAE) according to the Hovde Group, a U.S.-based financial advisory firm. The bank’s business model is unlike most banks in that it serves industries that are underserved by other banks. Although it has a strong lending portfolio, Surety has filled in revenue gaps with alternative revenue streams. Most notably, James and his team provide solutions for three main industries that negate the impact of fraud and criminal activity, cryptocurrency, money service businesses (MSBs), and the cannabis industry.
“The Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative is honored to have Surety Bank as a formal sponsor and a corporate partner in the fight against modern slavery. Under the progressive leadership and expertise of their CEO, Ryan James, Surety is the first bank under $35 billion in assets to commit to partnering with ATII in our efforts to disrupt the operations, economics, and anonymity of human trafficking at the source. The bank will help us through their ability to foster dialogue, share information and report suspicious activity related to human trafficking. Surety Bank closely works with businesses from the cryptocurrency community and cannabis industry, as well as other banks and financial institutions like MSBs. ATII is grateful to be able to leverage the bank’s expertise and relationships within these traditional “higher risk” business types and looks forward to making a greater impact in these industries with Surety.” said Aaron Kahler, ATII Founder & Chief Executive.
“The statistics on human trafficking globally shows an astonishing and alarming impact with the International Labour Organization estimating that there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally and that forced labor and human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide. Surety Bank will be an instrumental partner in helping us promote corporate responsibility within the industries they serve. As public and private organizations continue to collaborate in the creation of a uniform front within the financial sector to fight human trafficking, we will see a true impact in the recovery of victims and prosecution of traffickers,” Kahler continued.
ABOUT ANTI-HUMAN TRAFFICKING INTELLIGENCE INITIATIVE (ATII)
Based in the United States, ATII, a not-for-profit organization, established in 2019, operates globally to combat modern slavery by leveraging corporate social responsibilities directly through anti-human trafficking program development, facilitating awareness, targeted data collection, technology integration, and sourcing actionable intelligence. They aim to disrupt the market of human trafficking, child exploitation and child sexual abuse material (CSAM) through the advancement of preventions, detection, investigation and reporting mechanisms. ATII is committed to raising awareness and developing strategic partnerships with intelligence, technology, and data leaders. Learn more at followmoneyfightslavery.org.
About Surety Bank
With three branches in Central Florida as well as a national digital presence, Surety Bank serves the community with a personalized approach to service. With experience beginning 91 years ago, when a business loan was confirmed with a handshake, Surety Bank always puts clients’ needs first.