AML


Credit Suisse

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

2022-07-01T17:58:00+01:00By

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.

Money

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.

RisksAhead

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

2022-06-24T18:19:00+01:00By

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

2022-06-24T13:58:00+01:00By

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

2022-06-23T14:27:00+01:00By

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

2022-06-07T22:05:00+01:00By

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

FinCEN launches rulemaking on no-action letter process

2022-06-06T16:55:00+01:00By

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.

philippe

Former Danske Bank CCO Philippe Vollot resigns

2022-06-02T17:42:00+01:00By

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

2022-05-20T18:26:00+01:00By

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

2022-05-18T15:13:00+01:00By

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

2022-05-04T18:13:00+01:00By

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

Deutsche Bank confirms AML raid at German headquarters

2022-05-02T14:29:00+01:00By

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

2022-04-29T22:31:00+01:00By

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

2022-04-29T13:17:00+01:00By

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

2022-04-28T12:30:00+01:00By

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

2022-04-27T16:53:00+01:00By

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.

Handshake

Webcast Q&A: Managing correspondent banking relationships

2022-04-26T19:34:00+01:00By David Povey, International Compliance Association

Correspondent banking is a vital part of the global economy, but when incorrectly managed can present considerable financial crime risks.

OCC

Anchorage Digital Bank gets OCC consent order for AML compliance failures

2022-04-22T19:39:00+01:00By

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced a consent order against Anchorage Digital Bank, the first digital asset bank to be issued a charter by the regulator, for deficiencies in its Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering compliance program.

MoneyGram

CFPB, NYAG sue MoneyGram to halt ‘long pattern of misconduct’

2022-04-21T20:52:00+01:00By

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against MoneyGram in federal court, alleging the money remittance company has failed to fulfill the compliance obligations placed upon it in previous enforcement actions.

Russia_United States

FinCEN advisory highlights Russian kleptocracy concerns

2022-04-16T11:17:00+01:00By

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued an advisory offering red flag indicators of kleptocracy and foreign corruption, noting Russia as a country of “particular concern.”

Magnifying glass

Five considerations for a transaction monitoring system

2022-04-11T19:10:00+01:00By David Povey, International Compliance Association

Transaction monitoring is an area constantly in the spotlight. David Povey of the International Compliance Association explains five key monitoring considerations for anyone managing or working within financial institutions.

Goldman Sachs Tower

Ex-Goldman banker convicted of FCPA violations in 1MDB case

2022-04-08T20:34:00+01:00By

Roger Ng, one of the central figures of the Goldman Sachs 1MDB scandal, was found guilty by a federal jury of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and commit money laundering.

LA Fashion District

FinCEN fines A&S World Trading $275K in first GTO action

2022-04-01T21:09:00+01:00By

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network fined A&S World Trading $275,000 for willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act in its first enforcement action against a company for failing to comply with a geographic targeting order.

Coal mining

Ex-coal company exec charged with FCPA violations

2022-04-01T15:13:00+01:00By

Former coal company executive Charles Hunter Hobson was arrested on charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, laundering funds, and receiving kickbacks in an alleged bribery scheme in Egypt, the Department of Justice announced.

Treasury Department

Senators call for close of private investment AML/CFT loophole

2022-03-31T17:29:00+01:00By

Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called on the Treasury Department and SEC to close a “disconcerting loophole” that exempts hedge funds and other private investment firms from reporting suspicious activity within their transactions to authorities.

Dark money

Report: Number of AML fines up, penalty totals down in 2021

2022-03-23T16:23:00+00:00By

The number of anti-money laundering fines assessed against financial institutions globally reached its highest amount in six years during 2021, though the penalty amounts associated with those enforcement actions dropped notably, according to Kroll’s annual benchmark report.

Elizabeth Rosenberg

Treasury official: Compliance has chance to effect history with Russia response

2022-03-22T19:20:00+00:00By

Elizabeth Rosenberg, assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes at the Treasury Department, said in a speech “history has thrust the compliance sector into the center of events” regarding business response to evolving sanctions and actions against Russia.

USAA

Compliance implications of USAA order addressing AML lapses

2022-03-22T16:59:00+00:00By

The consent order issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency against USAA Bank imparts lessons for compliance officers in the financial services industry on how—and how not—to maintain a Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering compliance program.

USAA

USAA fined $140M for AML compliance failures

2022-03-18T11:30:00+00:00By

USAA Federal Savings Bank must pay $140 million as part of consent orders reached with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for its failures maintaining its Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering compliance program.

MoneyGram

MoneyGram, NYDFS agree on $8.25M settlement for supervision lapses

2022-03-17T14:03:00+00:00By

MoneyGram will pay $8.25 million as part of a settlement with the New York State Department of Financial Services for supervision failures regarding local agents processing suspicious transactions in China.

Russia Ukraine economy

Banks face complex compliance risks as they attempt to exit Russia

2022-03-16T18:30:00+00:00By

Once a bank decides to withdraw or wind down its Russian operations, there are a host of thorny compliance issues to navigate in a compressed timeframe, including sanctions implications, money laundering risks, and more.

Swedbankcrop

Swedbank Estonia named suspect in money laundering investigation

2022-03-15T14:40:00+00:00By

The Estonian branch of Swedbank has been summoned for interrogation as part of a probe into suspected money laundering and other criminal activities.

HSBC

Learning points from HSBC’s fine for AML failings

2022-03-14T18:55:00+00:00By Teodora Harrop, for International Compliance Association

Significant investment in systems has not been fully effective in mitigating financial crime risk. A fine of nearly £64 million (then-U.S. $84 million) imposed on HSBC by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority in December is a particularly potent example.

U.S. crypto

Biden executive order seeks to study crypto, evaluate Fed-backed digital currency

2022-03-09T20:10:00+00:00By

President Joe Biden has ordered federal regulators to study the risks and potential benefits of digital assets and their underlying technology while encouraging the Federal Reserve to continue evaluating the creation of a federally backed digital currency.

Central Bank of Russia

FinCEN warns financial institutions of Russian sanctions evasion

2022-03-08T21:40:00+00:00By

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued guidance highlighting the types of red flags financial institutions should be looking for to detect potential Russian sanctions evasion attempts.

United Arab Emirates

FATF adds United Arab Emirates to AML/CFT watchlist

2022-03-07T16:40:00+00:00By

The Financial Action Task Force added the United Arab Emirates to its “grey list” of countries subject to increased monitoring due to deficiencies in fighting financial crime.

Source of wealth

Source of funds/source of wealth: Knowing the difference and best practices

2022-03-04T12:50:00+00:00By Holly Thomas-Wrightson, International Compliance Association

With the similarity of their nature and how they overlap, not to mention how often they are mentioned in the same breath, it can easily lead to confusion when trying to remember which is which between source of funds and source of wealth.

Treasury Department

Treasury reports examine persistent and emerging AML/CFT risks

2022-03-02T20:44:00+00:00By

The Treasury Department outlined key areas where criminals, terrorist groups, and rogue nations are using the U.S. banking system to launder funds to finance their illicit activities.

MoneyGram sign

MoneyGram sets aside $15.8M to settle NYDFS, CFPB investigations

2022-03-01T20:44:00+00:00By

MoneyGram disclosed it expects to pay a total of $15.8 million to settle two separate investigations by the New York State Department of Financial Services and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Wildlife

How compliance can help prevent illegal wildlife trade

2022-03-01T18:50:00+00:00By Teodora Harrop, for International Compliance Association

Developing a reasonable understanding of the supply chain is the first step in ascertaining whether corporate entities might inadvertently participate or facilitate illegal trading in wildlife.

European Central Bank

ECB questions AMLA’s effectiveness over scope, resource concerns

2022-03-01T18:10:00+00:00By

The European Central Bank believes the European Union’s proposed new anti-money laundering agency needs to have a wider scope of direct supervision and more staff if it is going to be effective.

Locked files

Lawsuit by BitMEX co-founder could test GDPR’s reach over SARs

2022-02-28T15:59:00+00:00By

Ben Delo, co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, filed a complaint against Wise Payments after the company allegedly refused his requests under the General Data Protection Regulation to provide him with personal information it submitted via suspicious activity reports.

Pakistan U.S. money

National Bank of Pakistan to pay $55.4M for AML compliance lapses

2022-02-25T19:55:00+00:00By

The National Bank of Pakistan and its New York branch must pay $55.4 million in total penalties in settlements with two U.S. regulators for deficiencies in the bank’s risk management and anti-money laundering compliance program.

BitMEX

BitMEX founders fined $10M each for flouting AML rules

2022-02-25T15:01:00+00:00By

Arthur Hayes and Benjamin Delo, co-founders of cryptocurrency exchange and derivative trading platform BitMEX, were each fined $10 million as part of guilty pleas for anti-money laundering violations under the Bank Secrecy Act.

DiMauro_opinion

‘The Betrayal’ offers AML lessons from undercover mission that nearly comes undone

2022-02-25T15:00:00+00:00By

Drug Enforcement Administration undercover agent Robert Mazur’s new book chronicles his infiltration of Colombia’s notorious Cali drug cartel and the money laundering practices he observed firsthand.

Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse leak alleges corrupt customers, poor compliance practices

2022-02-22T20:10:00+00:00By

Credit Suisse engaged in business dealings with some of the most notorious criminals in the world, according to a consortium of media outlets that spent months parsing through the leaked records of more than 18,000 of the Swiss bank’s accounts.

DOJSeal

DOJ names head of crypto enforcement team

2022-02-18T19:26:00+00:00By

The Department of Justice named veteran prosecutor Eun Young Choi to serve as the first director of its newly created National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team.

Ericsson

Ericsson admits ‘corruption-related misconduct’ in Iraq; may have paid ISIS

2022-02-16T22:16:00+00:00By

Ericsson announced an internal investigation uncovered evidence of “corruption-related misconduct” that occurred in the Swedish telecommunications company’s Iraq operations between 2011 and 2019.

FINRA

FINRA sanctions compliance officer for AML failures

2022-02-14T16:25:00+00:00By

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has ordered a compliance officer to pay $25,000 for failing to establish and implement a “reasonably designed” anti-money laundering compliance program at the brokerage firm where he worked.

FINRA New York

FINRA 2022 exam report highlights Reg BI compliance, AML trends, more

2022-02-10T21:25:00+00:00By

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s annual report on examinations and risk monitoring contains insights on issues the organization uncovered regarding broker-dealers’ compliance with Regulation Best Interest during the rule’s first full year in existence.