Compliance_Fails_2022 Main Art_index

Top ethics and compliance failures of 2022


Businesses not taking AML requirements seriously, years of noncompliant off-channel communications catching up to financial services titans, and a manufacturing firm that shared revenue with terrorists comprise CW’s list of the biggest ethics and compliance fails of 2022.

Sayari beneficial ownership thumbnail

e-Book: Effective beneficial ownership searches leverage technology

2022-12-06T05:39:00+00:00Provided by

Determining the ultimate beneficial owner of individuals and companies your firm does business with can be a tricky thing.

Jyske Bank

Danish financial regulator refers Jyske Bank to police for AML violations


The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority reported Jyske Bank to Danish police for allegedly violating the country’s anti-money laundering law regarding its customer due diligence measures.


Experts: AML efforts dealt blow by CJEU beneficial ownership ruling


Determining the true owner of a company might become more difficult after Europe’s top court ruled automatic access to registers of beneficial ownership conflicted with the right to privacy.

South Africa flag

South Africa edges toward FATF watchlist

2022-10-31T13:47:00+00:00By Sholane Sathu, for International Compliance Association

South Africa could be designated by the Financial Action Task Force as a jurisdiction with anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism risks subject to increased monitoring should a November review not meet the organization’s standards.


Danske Bank projects $2.1B settlement for Estonia money laundering probes


Danske Bank expects to pay a total of 15.5 billion Danish kroner (U.S. $2.1 billion) to U.S. and Danish authorities to settle allegations it overlooked more than $200 billion in dirty money laundered through its former Estonia branch.


Automation can improve AML compliance but won’t replace human touch


While automation has the potential to transform anti-money laundering compliance, it will not replace the human practitioners relied upon to get investigations to the finish line, experts discussed at the ACAMS annual conference in Las Vegas.

JPMorgan Chase

Former JPMorgan compliance exec settles with bank over SOX whistleblower suit


Shaquala Williams, a compliance executive who sued JPMorgan Chase after she said she was fired for blowing the whistle on deficiencies in the bank’s anti-money laundering compliance program, agreed to settle her case.


ICICI Bank cited by OCC for BSA/AML compliance failures


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ordered the New York branch of ICICI Bank to implement sweeping changes to its anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance programs but will not fine the bank if the improvements are completed.

Myanmar flag

FATF classifies Myanmar as high risk for money laundering, terrorist financing


The Financial Action Task Force designated Myanmar as a high-risk jurisdiction with “significant strategic deficiencies” regarding its anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism, and financing of proliferation prevention efforts.

Star casino

Australia’s Star casino fined record $62M over money laundering scandal


The Star Entertainment Group, operator of Australia’s second largest casino, was penalized a record AUD$100 million (U.S. $62 million) by the country’s casino regulator for failures to prevent money laundering at its Sydney location.


Gatehouse Bank fined $1.77M for inadequate customer due diligence


Gatehouse Bank was fined £1.58 million (U.S. $1.77 million) by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority for failing to address “significant weakness” in AML checks the bank conducted on customers who posed a higher risk of committing financial crime.

United States United Kingdom

U.S., U.K. improve anti-corruption coordination with data access agreement


A new agreement will allow law enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom and United States to gain better access to data held by tech and telecommunications firms from the other’s country as part of evidence gathering for complex white-collar crimes.

Treasury Department

Bittrex to pay $29M for BSA violations in landmark FinCEN, OFAC case


Virtual currency trading platform Bittrex agreed to pay more than $29 million for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and other foreign asset restrictions by regularly allowing transactions with customers in Iran, Syria, and other U.S.-sanctioned nations.

Money laundering

Effective collaboration key to fight against financial crime

2022-10-10T14:16:00+01:00By James Thomas, International Compliance Association

The Fintel Alliance—a partnership involving AML regulator AUSTRAC, Western Australia Police, and analysts from a handful of large banks—provides an example of the positive outcomes of collaboration in fighting financial crime.


FINRA sets fine ranges for AML failures, removes limits on certain penalties


The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority increased penalties for member violations of securities rules, including removing upper limits on fines for certain instances of misconduct.

Treasury Department

FinCEN finalizes beneficial ownership rule, reporting requirements


The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network finalized its beneficial ownership rule, which will require certain reporting companies to file basic information with the agency about who controls their finances.

Sterling Bank

​Sterling Bank fined $6M by OCC over loan program lapses


Sterling Bank and Trust agreed to pay a fine of $6 million assessed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for deficiencies in its former residential loan product.

ICA Virtual Assets 1200x800

e-Book: Managing regulatory, financial crime compliance risks of virtual assets

2022-09-28T14:36:00+01:00Provided by

This free e-Book considers the new opportunities the virtual asset space has opened, as well as the risks deriving from criminal exploitation and a lack of regulatory oversight in this burgeoning area.

U.K. Parliament

U.K. bill would empower Companies House as AML regulator


The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill aims to stem the flow of dirty money coming into the United Kingdom by giving Companies House more power and resources to help combat money laundering.


Deutsche Bank agrees to settle Jeffrey Epstein-related class action for $26.3M


Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $26.25 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by a group of the bank’s investors over anti-money laundering compliance failures and deficiencies related to certain clients, including Jeffrey Epstein and Danske Bank’s Estonia branch.


Focus on professional enablers puts lawyers in spotlight

2022-09-22T19:50:00+01:00By Katie Benson, for International Compliance Association

While the extent of lawyers’ and law firms’ involvement in money laundering remains difficult to quantify, their potential role as professional enablers has become increasingly salient.


Treasury seeking comment on illicit finance risks posed by digital assets


The Treasury Department is seeking public input on how to address illicit finance and national security risks posed by digital assets, part of a multipronged push by the Biden administration to hold bad actors accountable and identify potential enforcement and regulatory gaps.

Shadow business

How effective beneficial ownership searches leverage technology


Determining the ultimate beneficial owner of individuals and companies your firm does business with can be a tricky thing. The most efficient investigations require an understanding of your firm’s risk appetite and appropriate technology to automate searches.

Danske Bank

Danske Bank fined $1.8M over AML checks in Ireland


Danske Bank was fined €1.82 million (U.S. $1.82 million) by the Central Bank of Ireland for omitting customers from automated financial crime checks between 2010-19 and failing to notify the regulator.

German Federal Ministry of Finance

Germany strives for coordination in enhanced AML efforts


Germany has unveiled plans to tackle financial crime more effectively by creating a new federal authority to strengthen enforcement and improve coordination among the country’s current supervisors, of which there are more than 300.


Upheld ex-Alstom exec’s acquittal affirms ‘setback’ for FCPA’s reach


The latest development in the nearly decadelong Lawrence Hoskins court case has the potential to open the door for foreign nationals involved in aiding U.S. companies with foreign bribery schemes to escape liability under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, according to experts.

Wise Payments

Wise fined $360K for AML failures in Abu Dhabi


International money transfer company Wise will pay a $360,000 penalty for failing to abide by Abu Dhabi’s anti-money laundering rules over a two-year period, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market announced.

Tether coin

Tether prepared to defy controversial U.S. sanctions on Tornado Cash


Cryptocurrency platform Tether is set to defy U.S. sanctions by holding firm on its refusal to freeze relevant Tornado Cash addresses until receiving further instruction from law enforcement agencies.


Ex-Rabobank CEO fined $20K for withholding AML report


John Ryan, the former CEO of Rabobank, N.A., was fined $20,000 by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for his alleged role in obstructing a Bank Secrecy Act program examination that would lead to significant fines for the bank.

Robinhood crypto

Robinhood Crypto fined $30M for AML, cybersecurity failures


Robinhood Crypto agreed to pay a $30 million fine to the New York State Department of Financial Services for “significant failures” in its Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering and cybersecurity compliance programs.


Judge: Ex-JPMorgan compliance exec’s retaliation claims credible for trial


A jury could conclude allegations made by a former JPMorgan Chase compliance executive who said she was fired for blowing the whistle have merit, a federal judge ruled.

American Express

American Express to pay $430K for violations of sanctions against drug kingpin


A subsidiary of American Express agreed to pay $430,500 to settle charges its network processed 214 transactions on behalf of a Venezuelan drug kingpin who was designated on the U.S. sanctions list, according to the Office of Foreign Assets Control.


Financial crime within the metaverse

2022-07-11T20:34:00+01:00By James Thomas, International Compliance Association

The momentum gathering behind the “metaverse”—a universe of virtual worlds built on blockchain technology—should be of keen interest to everyone in the regulation and compliance space, given its potential impact in terms of business, ethics, financial crime, and safety.

Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse money laundering verdict start of new era of Swiss enforcement?


Credit Suisse became the first major Swiss bank to be prosecuted for money laundering in the country after the Federal Criminal Court of Switzerland found the bank guilty of washing money connected to a Bulgarian drug smuggling syndicate.


Transaction monitoring: How we can do better

2022-06-28T18:22:00+01:00By Teodora Harrop, for International Compliance Association

While the requirement to undertake transaction monitoring evolved because of AML legislation, its importance has been magnified and reinforced by increased regulatory attention and significant fines.


OCC risk report: Russian sanctions, staffing churn increase compliance challenges


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency warned banks and financial institutions about elevated operational risks caused by geopolitical tensions and a heightened compliance risk environment complicated by regulatory changes, policy initiatives, and difficulties in hiring qualified professionals.

Gibraltar flag

FATF adds Gibraltar to AML/CFT watchlist; Malta removed


The Financial Action Task Force added Gibraltar to its list of jurisdictions working with the organization to improve the countering of money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing within their borders.

African currency

FCA fines Ghana International Bank $7.1M for AML failings


The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority fined Ghana International Bank £5.8 million (U.S. $7.1 million) for deficiencies in its anti-money laundering controls over its correspondent banking activities.

Treasury Department

Treasury considering rule to address AML ‘loopholes’ in private investment


The Treasury Department is considering rulemaking that would seek to mitigate the growing risk sanctioned Russian oligarchs and politicians will attempt to use “hedge funds, private equity firms, and investment advisers to hide their assets.”


FinCEN launches rulemaking on no-action letter process


The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network launched rulemaking for a no-action letter process, which the agency said might help spur innovation in financial services for anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism and compliance functions.


Former Danske Bank CCO Philippe Vollot resigns


Danske Bank Chief Administrative Officer Philippe Vollot, who was promoted to the position from chief compliance officer in November, has resigned, the Danish bank announced.

Wells Fargo bank

Wells Fargo unit fined $7M for AML transaction monitoring failures


For the second time in five years, a subsidiary of Wells Fargo has been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with failing to file suspicious activity reports in a timely manner due to deficiencies in the system it used to flag transactions.

CW2022 Matthew Friedman

Expert: Combating modern slavery starts with understanding the issue


Matthew Friedman, an expert on international human trafficking with more than 30 years of experience, discussed the importance of companies addressing modern slavery in their supply chains as part of a virtual fireside chat on the human factor of ESG at Compliance Week’s National Conference.

AML Czech crowns

Report: European AML compliance efforts remain substandard


European governments need to step up their efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing because their current capabilities are below par, according to a report by the Council of Europe’s Moneyval unit.


Deutsche Bank confirms AML raid at German headquarters


Deutsche Bank confirmed its Frankfurt headquarters were raided by German prosecutors in relation to a money laundering probe regarding suspicious activity reports filed by the bank.

British pounds

FCA cracking down on challenger banks after review


Challenger banks must improve how they assess financial crime risk following a review by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority that found some fail to carry out even basic customer checks.

Danske Bank

Danske Bank, authorities in ‘initial discussions’ regarding AML scandal resolution


Danske Bank has entered “initial discussions” with U.S. and Danish authorities on resolution regarding one of the world’s largest money laundering scandals that took place at its Estonia branch.

Tyler Hand

CW National 2022 Q&A: Tyler Hand on working in high-risk countries


Tyler Hand, chief compliance officer at Western Union, previews his panel titled, “The Fast-Evolving Risk Working in High-Risk Countries—Experiences and Lessons Learned,” at CW’s National Conference in Washington, D.C. from May 16-18.

London cityscape

FCA puts U.K. fintech firms on notice with QPay forfeiture


The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority used its powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act to force fintech firm QPay Europe to forfeit £2 million (U.S. $2.5 million) alleged to be linked to a U.S.-based wire fraud conspiracy.