AML


Swedbank head office

Swedbank names Britta Hjorth-Larsen as chief compliance officer

2022-01-21T16:40:00+00:00By

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.

AML-Europe

Report: Financial crime fines down in 2021; AML penalties drop 78 percent

2022-01-19T16:38:00+00:00By

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.

Money

Report: Financial services fines drop 49 percent in 2021

2022-01-10T18:50:00+00:00By

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.

Londoncrop

Mishcon de Reya fined $316K for AML failings

2022-01-07T20:11:00+00:00By

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.

Crypto scam

Report: Cryptocurrency-related crime reaches record $14B in 2021

2022-01-07T18:25:00+00:00By

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.

Business pyramid

How to identify ultimate beneficial owners

2022-01-05T16:39:00+00:00By Teodora Harrop, for International Compliance Association

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.

Swedbank

Former Swedbank CEO Birgitte Bonnesen charged with fraud

2022-01-04T21:55:00+00:00By

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.

Global money dealings

Financial crime risk management: Old crimes, new methods

2021-12-29T17:33:00+00:00By David Povey, International Compliance Association

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.

Documents

Should lawyers, accountants be filing more SARs?

2021-12-28T14:32:00+00:00By Jason Morris, International Compliance Association

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.

Wildlife

FinCEN report highlights uptick in wildlife trafficking SARs

2021-12-21T23:37:00+00:00By

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.

HSBC

HSBC hit with $84M penalty over AML failings

2021-12-17T19:44:00+00:00By

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.

Money laundering

CommunityBank of Texas fined $8M over AML failures

2021-12-17T16:34:00+00:00By

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.

SEC

Wedbush Securities to pay $1.2M for role in microcap fraud scheme

2021-12-16T20:15:00+00:00By

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.

Comment letter

FinCEN seeking feedback on AML/CFT regime ahead of report to Congress

2021-12-15T19:43:00+00:00By

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.

Nirvana Patel

CCO Q&A: How Prime Trust is managing compliance in evolving crypto space

2021-12-15T13:00:00+00:00By

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.

BAE 300x200

CPE Webcast: Takeaways: 2021 Global State of Anti-Money Laundering

2021-12-14T14:00:00+00:00Provided by BAE Systems

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.

NatWest Bank

NatWest fined $350M for AML failures in landmark case

2021-12-13T22:13:00+00:00By

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.

Wells Fargo sign

FINRA fines Wells Fargo subsidiaries $2.25M for recordkeeping violations

2021-12-09T20:52:00+00:00By

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.

Capital One

Five compliance triumphs from 2021

2021-12-08T13:00:00+00:00By

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.

Treasury

FinCEN beneficial ownership registry takes shape in proposed rule

2021-12-07T22:21:00+00:00By

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.

Joe Biden

Compliance takeaways from Biden strategy on countering corruption

2021-12-06T20:50:00+00:00By

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

Danske Bank appoints CCO Philippe Vollot as chief administrative officer

2021-11-29T17:40:00+00:00By

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.

Deforestation

​FinCEN notice warns banks of environmental crime

2021-11-19T22:06:00+00:00By

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.

ICA launches financial crime risk assessment tool

2021-11-17T22:40:00+00:00By GRC Announcements

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

Dutch authorities warn Rabobank of pending action for AML failures

2021-11-16T20:39:00+00:00By

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.”

Mexico

Mexico AML chief resigns amid wedding scandal

2021-11-09T15:32:00+00:00By

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.

Supreme Court

Supreme Court declines challenge to SEC’s Bank Secrecy Act authority

2021-11-08T18:59:00+00:00By

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_Automat

Swedbank: Swedish enforcement agency closes market abuse probe

2021-10-27T15:16:00+01:00By

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.”

Turkey flag

FATF adds Turkey to AML/CFT watchlist

2021-10-25T18:07:00+01:00By

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.

3x2 web graphic

Compliance Week National Conference is going back in person in May

2021-10-25T12:00:00+01:00By

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.

Danske Bank

Swedish regulator to Danske Bank: Fix AML failings faster

2021-10-21T20:19:00+01:00By

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.

Hacker

FinCEN report: Ransomware SARs surge past 2020 totals

2021-10-18T20:45:00+01:00By

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.

FINRA

FINRA encourages proactive compliance with FinCEN AML/CFT priorities

2021-10-13T19:32:00+01:00By

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.

Pandora Papers

Pandora Papers exposed gaps in AML compliance. Is beneficial ownership registry the answer?

2021-10-12T19:40:00+01:00By

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.

NatWest

NatWest pleads guilty in landmark U.K. money laundering case

2021-10-07T16:11:00+01:00By

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.

WaFd Bank

WaFd Bank to pay $2.5M for AML/BSA deficiencies

2021-10-04T18:23:00+01:00By

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.

LPL Financial

LPL Financial to pay $4.8M to settle claims of poor KYC procedures

2021-10-01T19:44:00+01:00By

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.

N26

​Germany’s N26 fined $5M for AML lapses

2021-09-30T16:25:00+01:00By

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.”

Swedbank

Swedbank CCO lauded for role in AML rebound to retire

2021-09-21T15:16:00+01:00By

Ingrid Harbo, Swedbank’s chief compliance officer during its ongoing recovery from a massive AML scandal, announced she will retire in March 2022.

German parliament

German AML deficiencies in spotlight ahead of election

2021-09-16T17:42:00+01:00By

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 Yen

FATF urges Japan to enhance AML/CFT measures

2021-08-31T17:44:00+01:00By

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.

Binance crypto

Weathering the storm: Why FinTech compliance failures persist

2021-08-30T15:54:00+01:00By

Experts weigh in with their thoughts on why FinTechs and cryptocurrency firms continue to have a bad reputation in terms of compliance.

Money laundering

Pandemic not slowing rising AML fine totals, report says

2021-08-25T18:31:00+01:00By

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.

Treasury Department

Challenge to SEC’s Bank Secrecy Act authority backed by ex-FinCEN leadership

2021-08-24T15:21:00+01:00By

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.

Filing cabinet

ICA roundtable: Five tips for filing more effective SARs

2021-08-13T16:48:00+01:00By Jake Plenderleith, International Compliance Association

A recent roundtable explored the anxieties compliance officers face in filing suspicious activity reports and offered advice for overcoming such difficulties.

CSIWeb Sept 2021 cover

White paper: AML Compliance Guide

2021-08-12T08:30:00+01:00Provided by

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.

Westpac

Westpac warned over continued AML failings

2021-08-11T17:42:00+01:00By

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.

BitMEX

Crypto platform BitMEX to pay $100M for registration, AML violations

2021-08-11T15:45:00+01:00By

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.

European Commission

EU guidance seeks to clarify role of AML/CFT compliance officers

2021-08-04T16:38:00+01:00By

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.

Oil barrels

Ex-Glencore oil trader pleads guilty for role in bribery scheme

2021-07-28T20:58:00+01:00By

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.