News Brief

BaFin fines Commerzbank $1.6M over supervision, AML lapses


Germany’s financial supervisory authority issued total fines of €1.45 million (U.S. $1.6 million) against Commerzbank AG to settle allegations of inadequate monitoring and anti-money laundering controls.


News Brief

OCC cites three banks for risk management, BSA-related failures


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency cited three banks for unsafe and unsound business practices that mirror issues similar to what spurred last year’s banking crisis.


News Brief

FinCEN warns of fake U.S. passport cards used to commit fraud


The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is warning financial institutions of counterfeit U.S. passport cards used to commit fraud and identity theft.

DOJ building

News Brief

​Ex-OneCoin compliance head jailed 4 years for fraud role


The former head of legal and compliance at OneCoin was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud charges regarding her role in a cryptocurrency marketing scheme.


News Brief

U.S. BOI efforts earn it upgraded rating from FATF


The United States’s progress on implementing the beneficial ownership information reporting requirements contained within the Corporate Transparency Act earned it praise from the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force.



FDIC proposes strengthening, modernizing bank merger reviews


The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation proposed to strengthen its approach to evaluating bank mergers under the Bank Merger Act, particularly how it would address factors like competition, financial resources, the convenience and needs of communities, financial stability, and money laundering.

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Chapter 4: Investigations into misconduct: What banks can do


Both JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank retained their respective Jeffrey Epstein relationships for too long. Yet, there is a case to be made for why exiting a high-risk relationship too soon can become an inverse form of recklessness.

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Chapter 3: Egregious failures: Customer due diligence and transaction monitoring


Why did JPMorgan Chase retain Jeffrey Epstein for more than a dozen years? How did the relationship persist despite glaring red flags? The “why” is straightforward; the “how” is more complicated.

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Chapter 2: KYC shortfalls: JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank’s onboarding of Epstein


Jeffrey Epstein’s designation as a high-risk client should have subjected him to enhanced due diligence that never appeared to occur, most notably at Deutsche Bank. Instead, Epstein was allowed to continue his misconduct despite numerous red flags.

Epstein case study cover 3x2


Chapter 1: Compliance v. complicity: The ‘underbelly’ of bank culture


Why were decisions made the way they were at the banks that serviced Jeffrey Epstein? Evidence points to a cultural tension: a tug-of-war between the allure of profit and the drag of compliance, with the former having all the pulling power.

Epstein case study cover 3x2


Case study: ‘The Banks Behind the Epstein Enterprise’


This Compliance Week case study offers a deep dive into the anti-money laundering compliance failures—and alleged complicity—of JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank, the two banks that enabled the Jeffrey Epstein enterprise to flourish for decades.

U.K. money laundering

News Brief

​FCA warns CEOs over firm AML failings


The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority warned the chief executive officers of approximately 1,000 financial institutions it supervises regarding common failures in anti-money laundering procedures it observed during recent assessments.



Judge’s ruling calls FinCEN beneficial ownership registry into question


A federal court judge in Alabama ruled the Corporate Transparency Act was beyond Congress’s power, potentially throwing the effectiveness of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network beneficial ownership information registry into doubt.

Metropolitan Commercial Bank

News Brief

Metropolitan Commercial Bank adds risk chief, AML officer


Metropolitan Commercial Bank announced the appointments of a chief risk officer and Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering officer to bolster its reporting lines following a $30 million enforcement action from federal and state authorities last year.


News Brief

Swedbank says Estonia money laundering probe closed


The Estonian branch of Swedbank is no longer under investigation regarding suspected money laundering and other criminal activities.

Federal Reserve

News Brief

Green Dot estimates up to $50M in liabilities over proposed Fed order


Financial technology firm Green Dot Corp. estimated a pending consent order with the Federal Reserve Board will require a payment of between $20 million to $50 million.


News Brief

NYDFS fines Gemini $37M over compliance failures


The New York State Department of Financial Services fined cryptocurrency exchange Gemini Trust Company $37 million over alleged compliance failures related to lapses in safety and soundness.

United Kingdom


FCA vows transparency, faster case outcomes in new enforcement strategy


The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority will rein in its enforcement focus and commit to providing more updates on its ongoing investigations as part of a revamped strategy designed to quicken the pace and increase the deterrent impact of its cases.

Dark money


FinCEN head touts compliance through enforcement approach


Andrea Gacki, head of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, said recent enforcement actions by the agency have addressed significant gaps in the U.S. anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism regime and exposed specific risk factors, trends, and typologies.


News Brief

New European AML agency to be based in Germany


The European Union’s recently approved Anti-Money Laundering Authority will be based in Frankfurt, Germany, and begin operations in 2025.

Kenya flag

News Brief

FATF adds Kenya, Namibia to AML/CFT watchlist; UAE, Uganda removed


Kenya was one of two African countries included in the Financial Action Task Force’s latest update to its list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring for money laundering and terrorist financing, while the United Arab Emirates was among four countries removed.


News Brief

Lloyds discloses FCA probe into AML controls


Lloyds is the latest U.K. financial institution being probed by the Financial Conduct Authority regarding its anti-money laundering control framework.


News Brief

Barclays says FCA probe into AML controls closed


Barclays Bank disclosed an investigation by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority into the bank’s anti-money laundering controls has closed without a penalty.

Treasury Department


FinCEN head: Agency seeking to educate, not punish, BOI reporters


The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network will focus its attention regarding compliance with its new beneficial ownership reporting requirements on education and outreach during the first year of implementation, although “willful violations” will still merit punishment.

Sterling Bank

News Brief

Ex-Sterling Bank GC cited by OCC over BSA-related failures


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a cease-and-desist order against the former general counsel at Sterling Bank and Trust for not ensuring the institution’s Bank Secrecy Act compliance and failing to timely file suspicious activity reports.

Human trafficking

News Brief

FinCEN: BSA data shows spike in crypto-financed human trafficking


Bank Secrecy Act reporting data disclosed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network revealed a significant spike in the use of cryptocurrency to finance human trafficking.

Treasury Department


FinCEN to propose applying BSA requirements to investment advisers


The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network will propose categorizing investment advisers as financial institutions that must comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, including having an anti-money laundering program.

Treasury Department


Anti-fraud groups praise FinCEN AML proposal for real estate transactions


The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require the handlers of all-cash residential real estate transactions in all U.S. cities and counties to disclose the beneficial owners.


News Brief

Paytm denies money laundering claims amid regulatory scrutiny


The Reserve Bank of India ordered a halt to many banking activities of digital payments provider Paytm while the regulator investigates “persistent noncompliances and continued material supervisory concerns.”



ACAMS survey: Budget cuts, criminal tech innovation top 2024 threats


Nearly 800 financial crime professionals said the biggest threats to the effectiveness of their anti-money laundering programs are budget cuts and their inability to keep pace with more aggressive and innovative uses of technology by criminals to commit fraud.


News Brief

City National Bank ordered to pay $65M over deficient risk, internal controls


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency levied a $65 million civil penalty against Los Angeles-based City National Bank over alleged risk management and internal control failures.


News Brief

Compliance officer BSA case a cautionary tale for small banks


A New York-based Bank Secrecy Act compliance officer facilitated more than $1 billion in high-risk international financial business through an “unsophisticated” institution, according to the Department of Justice and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

TD Bank

News Brief

TD Bank reportedly facing fine for faulty AML controls


The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada is reportedly preparing to issue its largest fine to date against TD Bank for faulty anti-money laundering controls.


News Brief

Treasury cites Iraqi bank, owner over terrorist financing concerns


Al-Huda Bank faces severance from the U.S. financial system for being a conduit of terrorist financing, according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, while its owner, Hamad al-Moussawi, was sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

AI finance


The pros and cons of generative AI in AML compliance

2024-01-29T14:00:00+00:00By Mario Menz, CW guest columnist

Generative artificial intelligence providers often promote their technologies as revolutionary tools that can enhance anti-money laundering processes. But the issues and shortcomings associated with the technologies must also be acknowledged.

MGM Resorts

News Brief

MGM Grand, Cosmopolitan fined $7.5M total over BSA violations


Two Las Vegas casinos agreed to pay penalties of nearly $7.5 million as part of separate non-prosecution agreements with the Department of Justice addressing violations of the Bank Secrecy Act over alleged anti-money laundering compliance failings.


News Brief

ICBC fined $32M by NYDFS, Fed over compliance lapses


The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and its New York branch agreed to pay $32.4 million in penalties levied by two regulators for failing to address compliance failures and for the unauthorized disclosure of confidential supervisory information to an overseas regulator.

European Union

News Brief

EU nearing tighter AML rules for crypto, luxury traders


The European Union moved closer to finalizing rules that would expand current anti-money laundering and customer due diligence obligations to new sectors, in addition to granting greater powers to national financial intelligence units.

Bank AML


AML pros say tech, not hiring, will keep them ahead of financial crime


A survey of financial crime professionals found that while three of every four companies added more anti-money laundering employees in 2023, nearly all respondents said growing their department’s headcount alone won’t keep up with emerging risks.

Euro money laundering


AMLA impact dependent on national collaboration


The impact of the Anti-Money Laundering Authority to improve the coordination and success of AML activities will be largely indirect, depending on its influence over European national governments continuing to supervise most EU financial services firms.


News Brief

Genesis Global Trading fined $8M by NYDFS over AML, cyber lapses


Virtual currency brokerage firm Genesis Global Trading agreed to pay an $8 million penalty levied by the New York State Department of Financial Services for alleged compliance failures that left it vulnerable to illicit activity and cybersecurity threats.



Deepfakes: A silent threat to digital integrity and AML efforts

2024-01-11T13:00:00+00:00By Rezaul Karim, CW guest columnist

Deepfakes have emerged in the digital world as a silent pandemic threatening not only our digital integrity but becoming a major risk to anti-money laundering efforts.

Fraud victim

News Brief

FinCEN analysis: Most common identity-related suspicious activities


Fraud remains the leading form of identity-related suspicious activity cited in Bank Secrecy Act reports by a large margin, while technologies enable greater overall risks around exploitation, according to new research from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

FINRA New York

News Brief

FINRA report: Exam trends on off-channel comms, crypto, cybersecurity


A new report from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority provides observations from examiners on emerging issues affecting the industry, including surveilling potential use of off-channel communications by employees, crypto-asset developments, cybersecurity trends, and more.


News Brief

Report: Canada’s FINTRAC to increase reliance on AI


Canada’s financial intelligence agency aims to increase its use of artificial intelligence technology to improve its capabilities to analyze data and detect suspicious activity, according to an agency official.

Questions raised


Need to know: FinCEN beneficial ownership information reporting


Many reporting companies are still unsure whether their organization is required to file beneficial ownership information with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network or are completely unaware of the new requirements. For those with questions, we have answers.

Binance crypto

News Brief

​Binance.US names new chief compliance officer


Cryptocurrency trading platform Binance.US, an affiliate independent of its embattled parent company, announced the appointment of Lesley O’Neill as chief compliance officer.

BNP Paribas

News Brief

Reports: BNP Paribas involved in French money laundering probe


French authorities are investigating alleged “aggravated money laundering” contained in transfers between a BNP Paribas affiliate and a Cypriot brokerage firm that might have benefitted a Russian warlord, according to media reports.


News Brief

​FinCEN sets access rules for beneficial ownership registry


The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network made several changes suggested by commenters to a new rule allowing limited access to its beneficial ownership information registry.

DOJ building


U.S. rule package seeks to expand DOJ anti-corruption powers


A package of seven legislative proposals put forward by the Biden administration would enhance the capabilities of the Department of Justice to bring money laundering and racketeering charges related to corruption, according to a senior agency official.