e-Book: Using immersive scenarios in your financial crime training

2020-11-18T15:41:00+00:00Provided by

This free e-Book considers five questions that can help when designing immersive financial crime training scenarios for learners.


Cryptocurrency’s future: What compliance needs to know

2020-11-17T19:15:00+00:00By David Povey, International Compliance Association

Cryptocurrency is complicated, but it’s not going away anytime soon. David Povey of the ICA takes a look at what regulators are trying to do and offers tips on where compliance officers can go to study this complex topic further.

ICA partnership offers AML education in Lithuania

2020-11-17T16:57:00+00:00By GRC Announcements

The International Compliance Association announced a partnership with Kazimieras Simonavičius University in Lithuania to offer the ICA’s full suite of professional qualifications.


Survey: Machine learning will (eventually) help win the war against financial crime


While the war against financial crime wages on, machine learning and artificial intelligence may give financial institutions the upper hand, according to a recent survey.


More data, more problems with FinCEN international transfer proposal?


A recent international wire transfer rule change proposed by U.S. regulators could go a long way toward combatting terrorist financing, but the increased transaction reporting may overwhelm an already taxed system, writes Martin Woods.

Julius Baer

Julius Baer reserves $80M for FIFA corruption settlement


Julius Baer has set aside nearly $80 million in a proposed settlement with the Department of Justice regarding the agency’s corruption investigation linked to world soccer federation FIFA.

Marcus Pleyer

Working together to stop money laundering: A conversation with Marcus Pleyer

2020-11-02T22:13:00+00:00By International Compliance Association

Dr. Marcus Pleyer, president of the Financial Action Task Force, emphasized his commitment to stopping money laundering in a wide-ranging and forward-looking discussion at the ICA’s BIG Compliance Festival.

Kurt Michels

CCO Philippe Vollot has a plan for Danske’s compliance reboot


Danske Bank CCO Philippe Vollot knows his journey to build a robust compliance program and culture at the troubled lender is far from over.

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e-Book: Tools, tips, and tactics for thwarting money launderers

2020-10-30T09:18:00+00:00Provided by

Federal agencies are taking a hard stance on those who continue to violate the Bank Secrecy Act with a new mandate of “two strikes, and you’re out.”

Data globe

BSA update proposal seeks more data on international transactions


FinCEN and the Federal Reserve Board have proposed lowering the threshold at which financial institutions must collect, retain, and transmit information on overseas transfers under the Bank Secrecy Act.

Dark money

‘FinCEN Files’ reaction poll: Corporate culture blocks AML compliance


In the aftermath of the “FinCEN Files” leak, financial industry practitioners polled by Fenergo say changing the system needs to start within their own institutions.

Cost rising

Study: Financial crime compliance costs top $42B in U.S./Canada


A new study of financial crime compliance costs found spending by American and Canadian financial institutions is up sharply in 2020, driven in part by the coronavirus pandemic.


Is human trafficking financial services’ blind spot?

2020-10-20T16:24:00+01:00By Jake Plenderleith, International Compliance Association

A new report from BAE Systems demonstrates just how far we have to go in the fight against money laundering, particularly when it comes to human trafficking.


Bitcoin platform operator fined $60M for AML violations


Larry Dean Harmon, the operator of virtual currency platforms Helix and Coin Ninja, was assessed a $60 million civil penalty by FinCEN for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and its implementing of AML regulations.


Embattled BitMEX hires chief compliance officer


On the heels of a CFTC enforcement action, cryptocurrency exchange platform BitMEX announced the appointment of Malcolm Wright as chief compliance officer of its operating company 100x Group.


Deutsche Bank fined $15.9M for lag in reporting suspicious transactions


A German public prosecutor levied a €13.5 million (U.S. $15.9 million) fine against Deutsche Bank for failing to report over 600 suspicious transactions in a timely manner but dropped a wider investigation related to the Danske Bank money laundering scandal.

Danske Bank

How Danske is cleaning up after a €200B money laundering scandal


It is not clear what action Danske Bank will take on the back of its investigation into Europe’s biggest-ever money laundering scandal, but it is a safe bet to think further improving compliance will be on the list.


Back to the drawing board on transaction monitoring


In the wake of the “FinCEN Files” leaks, Martin Woods examines whether monitoring text rather than numbers in transactions could serve as a solution to our greater anti-money laundering woes.


FINMA orders Banca Credinvest to improve AML measures


The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority found Banca Credinvest “seriously breached” anti-money laundering regulations with regard to dealings with PDVSA in Venezuela.


Progress on beneficial ownership key to AML fight


With the British Virgin Islands vowing its commitment to a beneficial ownership public register, financial crime expert Martin Woods turns his attention toward how the U.K. and U.S. are progressing in the space.


Three tips on how to design financial crime training with impact

2020-10-02T14:49:00+01:00By Simone Jones, International Compliance Association

Simone Jones of the International Compliance Association offers three ways to get employees to both embrace financial crime training and use the knowledge learned in their daily roles.


With ‘FinCEN Files,’ don’t shoot the messenger


It’s important we understand with the “FinCEN Files” that the enemy is not a journalist, a regulator, or a banker. The enemy is the money launderer, and this is where we need to focus our thinking and resources, writes Martin Woods.

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Members-only Webcast: FinCEN leaks—from the inside

2020-09-29T20:26:00+01:00By International Compliance Association

Financial crimes expert Martin Woods and two specialists from the International Compliance Association spend 50 minutes discussing the impact of the “FinCEN Files” story and what it says about the state of AML compliance.

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White paper: How AI and Machine Learning Can Supercharge Your AML Operation

2020-09-29T07:35:00+01:00Provided by

Legacy AML technology solutions notoriously miss financial crimes and the risk they represent. Meanwhile, an estimated 95% of what they alert are false positives that compound investigator workload and costs.


BoA a silver lining in damning ‘FinCEN Files’ report; Wells Fargo CEO puts foot in mouth

2020-09-25T20:27:00+01:00By Compliance Week

Bank of America gets a pat on the back for going beyond an “observe and report” approach to filing a SAR, and we learned this week that Wells Fargo’s CEO needs a little unconscious bias training.


‘FinCEN Files’ show Europe’s AML efforts maybe aren’t so world class


The damning revelations from the “FinCEN Files” leaks have once again put Europe and its supposed world-leading anti-money laundering rules under the spotlight.


Westpac set to pay record $912.6M civil penalty for AML failures


Westpac is bracing for a record AUS$1.3 billion (U.S. $912.6 million) civil penalty issued by Australia’s financial crime regulator related to a money-laundering scandal and the facilitation of child exploitation in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

Bank confusion

‘FinCEN Files’ fallout: Where do banks go from here?


The “FinCEN Files” report raises the question: What should banks be doing to address the trillions of dollars’ worth of banking transactions that are facilitating criminal activity every year?


FinCEN leaks impart key lessons on basics of writing SARs


Martin Woods, who has analyzed many of the suspicious activity reports released as part of the “FinCEN Files,” offers best practices for compliance officers in writing SARs.

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‘FinCEN Files’ highlight bank leadership flaws, not compliance flaws


Compliance has been taking some heat in the wake of the “FinCEN Files” reports, but it’s banks’ senior leadership that failed, not the folks filing all those SARs.


FinCEN leaks damage trust between banks and regulators, but serve higher purpose


The “FinCEN Files” leaks divided opinions within the community of financial crime compliance officers. Trust has been damaged, writes Martin Woods, but these leaks could facilitate real reform.


‘FinCEN Files’ report casts compliance officers in unfair light


The BuzzFeed “FinCEN Files” investigation purportedly uncovered evidence of a catastrophic, international collapse of internal controls within the world banking system. But that argument is misleading, to the point of being disingenuous.


Swedbank being investigated for suspected market abuse


Swedbank announced the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority has opened an investigation into the bank for potential violations of the regulation on market abuse in connection to the disclosure of suspected money laundering.

Bank fail

Recent OCC case shows widespread liability when a BSA program fails


Who faces liability when a Bank Secrecy Act program is deemed to be deficient? A series of recent enforcement actions taken by the OCC against individuals at a now-defunct New Jersey bank provides a case study.


FinCEN seeking comment on AML program overhaul


The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has proposed a plan to issue AML guidance every two years to encourage financial institutions to align their Bank Secrecy Act compliance programs with the agency’s enforcement priorities.


Gut instinct keeps humans ahead of AI in fight against financial crime


As artificial intelligence evolves and takes on new tasks, whether it can develop the instinct of an experienced compliance professional will be key to its prevalence in the AML world, writes Martin Woods.


Forget the status quo: Proactive AML is the path forward


The AML community is guilty of tolerating the failing status quo, and very few have dared to confront, challenge, and disrupt the inefficient and ineffective practices. A proactive approach could be the solution, writes Martin Woods.


Best practices KYC: What to do when your client is in the headlines


How do we, as AML professionals, assess negative media alerts? It should start with a conversation with the client relationship manager, but it shouldn’t end there, writes Martin Woods.

Money laundering

FCA proposes expanding scope of financial crime reporting obligations


The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority seeks comment on a new proposal that would widen the scope of its annual financial crime reporting obligations to include firms whose regulated activities potentially pose a higher money laundering risk.


We’re losing the war on AML, and big consultancies aren’t helping


Financial crimes expert Martin Woods writes that, in his experience, the big consultancy firms have made a substantial negative contribution to global AML endeavors.


Banking regs reemphasize rules for monitoring accounts of foreign officials


Five federal regulatory agencies issued a reminder to banks and financial institutions that they should continually monitor risks associated with the accounts of foreign officials.


Hat tip to HSBC for stopping money laundering, saving lives


If you’re in search of proof that what you do matters, look no further than the AML efforts of HSBC in preventing $500 million from reaching the bank accounts of criminals, writes Martin Woods.

Federal Reserve

Federal banking regs clarify BSA/AML compliance violation response


Two strikes and you’re out, say four federal agencies to repeat violators of Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering compliance requirements.

Money laundering

Basel Committee issues final AML risk management guidance


The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision recently issued an updated version of its guidelines on sound management of risks related to anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.


Interactive Brokers to pay $38M for SAR, AML failures


Interactive Brokers has agreed to pay $38 million in settlements with three regulatory agencies related to anti-money laundering lapses, including repeated failures regarding the filing of suspicious activity reports.

British pounds

SFO confiscates $7M from ex-Afren execs in fraud case


The U.K. Serious Fraud Office announced it has secured orders confiscating £5.45 million (U.S. $7 million) from two former executives of oil and gas exploration company Afren.

ICA, Mongolian Compliance Association launch bespoke qualification

2020-08-03T18:39:00+01:00By GRC Announcements

The International Compliance Association announced a partnership with the Mongolia Compliance Association to offer a bespoke e-learning program to 12 professional associations and their 10,000-plus members in compliance-related roles.

Paperwork overload

SARs overload slowing efforts to combat financial crime


For the global AML community, there is a need to recognize too much valuable time is spent filing too many low-value suspicious activity reports that will never become the subject of any law enforcement action, writes Martin Woods.


Commerzbank fine demonstrates danger of AML lapses

2020-07-16T17:57:00+01:00By Jake Plenderleith, International Compliance Association

The Financial Conduct Authority’s fine of £37.8 million (U.S. $47.5 million) on Commerzbank’s London branch is a reminder that the most fundamental risk-based AML controls are still not being implemented at some financial services firms.


Analysis: When clean money is used for dirty purposes


There are times when it is a necessary to consider where clean money is going to as much as where dirty money may have come from, writes financial crime expert Martin Woods.