Swedbank announced the appointment of Britta Hjorth-Larsen as its new chief compliance officer. She will take over her new duties by Aug. 1 at the latest and join the bank’s group executive committee.
Fines for corporate crimes last year fell by more than half to 8.7 billion euros (U.S. $9.9 billion) from 2020’s total of €20 billion (U.S. $22.6 billion), according to a report released by research firm AML Intelligence.
The value of penalties against global financial services firms in 2021 dropped to half the total levied in 2020, according to research by compliance technology provider Fenergo.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority, the regulatory body for solicitors in England and Wales, announced British law firm Mishcon de Reya has agreed to pay a financial penalty of £232,500 (U.S. $316,000) for AML compliance violations.
The amount of illicit cryptocurrency transactions reached an all-time high in 2021 at $14 billion, according to a Chainalysis study due out next month. The rise coincides with significant increases in the overall volume of crypto transactions.
As financial institutions continue to face enhanced public scrutiny and potential regulatory attention, it is important they allocate competent resources to their AML programs regarding beneficial ownership.
The Swedish Economic Crime Authority announced charges against Birgitte Bonnesen, Swedbank’s former chief executive officer, for fraud and market manipulation regarding the bank’s money laundering scandal.
Times and technologies change, but the fundamental means by which criminals attempt to launder money and carry out their nefarious acts are still rooted in the same criminal process.
A study of suspicious activity reporting data in the United Kingdom suggests accountants, lawyers, estate agents, and other service-facing professionals could be doing more to contribute to the fight against financial crime.
Suspicious activity reports flagging potential financial crime risks posed by wildlife trafficking are on the rise, according to a report published by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority fined HSBC Bank £63,946,800 (U.S. $84.3 million) for failings in its anti-money laundering processes over an eight-year period.
CommunityBank of Texas has agreed to pay $8 million as part of a consent order reached with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network regarding deficiencies in its anti-money laundering program linked to understaffing.
California-based broker-dealer Wedbush Securities agreed to pay $1.2 million as part of a settlement with the SEC for the unregistered sale of microcap securities and its failure to file suspicious activity reports associated with those transactions.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has issued a request for information on ways to modernize the Bank Secrecy Act ahead of a report Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen must provide Congress by Jan. 1, 2022.
Compliance Week discusses with Nirvana Patel, chief compliance officer and BSA officer at Prime Trust, the unique challenges of practicing compliance in the cryptocurrency industry and his thoughts on the regulatory landscape moving forward.
More than 60 percent of those surveyed in a recently published “2021 Global State of Anti-Money Laundering” report by BAE Systems said advanced criminal techniques have become even harder to spot in the last 12 months.
National Westminster Bank was fined £264.8 million (U.S. $350 million) for three offenses of failing to comply with the United Kingdom’s anti-money laundering laws.
Two Wells Fargo broker-dealers agreed to jointly pay a $2.25 million fine to settle charges levied by FINRA regarding a failure to store approximately 13 million customer records in the proper format over a 17-year span.
A key CCO appointment, a company committed to transparency, and a bank that spent big on improving its AML controls highlight CW’s annual list of laudable ethics and compliance moments.
FinCEN’s proposed rule for a new beneficial ownership registry was released as part of the U.S. government’s efforts to pull back the veil on anonymous shell companies used to launder illicit profits from corruption, money laundering, and other financial crime activities.
President Joe Biden’s sweeping anti-corruption initiative includes developments in two key areas of interest for the compliance profession: the U.S. beneficial ownership registry and a new proposal to expand reporting requirements on cash real estate transactions.
Danske Bank has appointed Philippe Vollot, its chief compliance officer, to be its group chief administrative officer in charge of the bank’s compliance, financial crime prevention, and financial crime risk divisions.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued a notice to banks and other financial institutions calling attention to what it has identified as a rising trend in environmental crimes.
The International Compliance Association has launched an enterprise-wide risk assessment tool to help its members better assess, document, and manage financial crime risk.
Rabobank announced the Dutch Central Bank ordered it to “remedy deficiencies in its compliance with the Dutch Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act.”
Santiago Nieto stepped down as head of Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit after controversy surfaced regarding a large amount of cash found on a plane carrying guests to his wedding in Guatemala.
The Supreme Court turned down a bid by brokerage firm Alpine Securities Corp. petitioning for review of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s power to enforce the Bank Secrecy Act.
Swedbank said it has been notified by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority that an investigation by the regulator concerning suspected market abuse by the bank has been closed “with no remark.”
The Financial Action Task Force has added three new jurisdictions, including Turkey, to its list focused on areas subject to increased monitoring for deficiencies in fighting financial crime.
Mark your calendars: Compliance Week’s National Conference in Washington, D.C. will be held in person for the first time in nearly three years from May 16-18, 2022.
Sweden’s financial regulator says Danske Bank is not addressing deficiencies in its AML/CFT protocols quickly enough, issuing an injunction ordering the bank to take remedial action.
A Financial Crimes Enforcement Network report on financial trends in Bank Secrecy Act data found a greater number of SARs related to ransomware filed between January and June 2021 than during all of 2020.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is encouraging member firms to start proactively incorporating new AML/CFT priorities mandated by Congress into their risk-based compliance programs.
FinCEN’s upcoming ultimate beneficial ownership registry could help to combat some of the anti-money laundering deficiencies put on display by the Pandora Papers, but not until Congress gets serious about funding the initiative.
National Westminster Bank pleaded guilty to landmark criminal charges brought by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority for violations of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.
Washington Federal Bank has agreed to pay $2.5 million in accordance with a consent order reached with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in February 2018.
The nation’s presumed top independent broker-dealer will pay more than $4.8 million to settle AML charges stemming from its alleged failure to reconcile inconsistencies of a new customer who would scam a Puerto Rican city out of millions of dollars.
Mobile bank N26 revealed it paid a €4.25 million (U.S. $5 million) fine ordered by Germany’s market regulator regarding deficiencies in its reporting of suspicious activities “in the area of anti-money laundering.”
Ingrid Harbo, Swedbank’s chief compliance officer during its ongoing recovery from a massive AML scandal, announced she will retire in March 2022.
A recent raid by German prosecutors of the country’s finance and justice ministries has once again put a spotlight on Germany’s apparent failings in tackling financial crime.
Japanese authorities have a good understanding of money laundering and terrorism financing risks, but certain areas of their AML/CFT framework could be further improved, according to a Financial Action Task Force evaluation report.
Experts weigh in with their thoughts on why FinTechs and cryptocurrency firms continue to have a bad reputation in terms of compliance.
Kroll’s latest annual enforcement review identified $2.2 billion in AML fines in 2020 compared to $444 million in 2019. The first six months of 2021 indicate a similar pace to last year.
A brokerage firm petitioning the Supreme Court to review the power of the SEC to enforce the Bank Secrecy Act has received support from two former officials of the primary agency tasked with overseeing the AML law.
A recent roundtable explored the anxieties compliance officers face in filing suspicious activity reports and offered advice for overcoming such difficulties.
Read this AML Compliance Guide to learn the five ways you can modernize your AML program to meet regulatory requirements and protect your institution and its customers from financial crime.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand issued a formal warning to Westpac’s New Zealand branch for failing to report certain transactions as required under local anti-money laundering regulations.
Cryptocurrency platform BitMEX has agreed to pay $100 million as part of a settlement with the CFTC and FinCEN for multiple violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering laws.
The European Banking Authority is seeking comment on new draft guidelines that set clear expectations regarding the appointment, role, tasks, and responsibilities of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism compliance officers.
A former oil trader for a subsidiary of Glencore entered a guilty plea for his role in bribing government officials in Nigeria in exchange for the award of oil cargoes and more favorable delivery terms.