Financial Services


FinCEN advisory details coronavirus risks for financial industry


The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has issued what it says is the first of several advisories concerning financial crimes related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Westpac announces more executive changes amid investigation


Amid a money-laundering investigation and faced with allegations of facilitating child exploitation in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, Westpac has appointed a new head of financial crime compliance.


SEC, DOJ ordered to review RBS whistleblower’s claim on $4.9B settlement


A federal appeals court ordered two federal agencies to review the whistleblower claims of a former Royal Bank of Scotland employee who is seeking a slice of a nearly $5 billion settlement.

Safe bank

Analysis: The problem with keeping a secret


You can’t hide behind the numbers, as numerous banks, including Bank Hapoalim, found out recently when rampant tax evasion took hold in Switzerland.


Lesson from Westpac: If you can’t do the simple things correctly, watch out


If a bank or a firm cannot execute on the simple things, such as cash transaction reporting, there is little reason to be confident of compliance in other more complex and challenging areas.


Bank Hapoalim’s bad day: $904M in tax evasion, FIFA fines


Israel’s largest bank and its Swiss subsidiary will pay a total of $904 million in separate DOJ settlements related to (1) a massive tax-evasion scheme and (2) its role in a money-laundering conspiracy with FIFA.


Industrial Bank of Korea to pay $86M for sanctions compliance failures


The Industrial Bank of Korea and its New York branch will pay a total of $86 million to resolve charges for systemic sanctions compliance failures that allowed more than $1 billion to be illegally transferred to the government of Iran.


Westpac sets aside $570M to resolve money laundering violations


Westpac has set aside AUS$900 million (U.S. $570 million) for a potential fine with Australian enforcement authorities related to a money laundering scandal and for allegations of facilitating child exploitation in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.


Ex-exec charged, but Goldman Sachs avoids FCPA liability for due diligence efforts


The SEC announced charges against a former Goldman Sachs exec for violating the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA, but the firm was not charged in the case because of the due diligence measures it took.

Financial fraud

Pandemic, government money create perfect storm for financial fraud


A global pandemic, an unprecedented flow of government money, and a weakening of lending controls could create a perfect storm of opportunity for fraudsters.

Wells Fargo

Fed grants Wells Fargo temporary relief from asset cap restriction


An asset cap imposed on Wells Fargo in response to systemic failures at the bank in recent years has been temporarily modified to reduce limitations on its ability to distribute loans amid the coronavirus pandemic.


FinCEN, OCC offer BSA compliance relief amid pandemic


Two federal agencies that oversee Bank Secrecy Act requirements have notified financial institutions they will agree to “reasonable delays” in the filing of required reports if institutions can show the delays are necessary due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Money laundering

Study: Europe blows U.S. away in financial crime spending


A new report found financial institutions spent $181 billion on financial crime compliance worldwide last year, with European firms spending three to four times more than their counterparts in North America.


Standard Chartered fined $24.9M for Ukraine sanctions breaches


The U.K. Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation hit Standard Chartered Bank for a record fine relating to loans the bank made to Russian financial institutions in violation of the EU’s sanction regime.


CECL delayed amid U.S. government’s coronavirus response


FASB’s controversial standard on credit losses was dealt two significant blows Friday as the U.S. government scrambles to respond to the financial impact of the escalating coronavirus pandemic.


Swedish regulator delays SEB money laundering probe


Sweden’s financial regulator announced it will wait until June to conclude its money laundering investigation into Scandinavian Enskilda Banken AB (SEB) due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Embracing the potential of tech in legal, compliance

2020-03-25T17:44:00+00:00By Lee O’Connell, Konexo

The pace of technological change can be overwhelming, and in-house legal and compliance teams are yet to lead the charge. This needs to change if businesses are to secure the potential competitive advantages offered by new tech.


Swedbank cuts ex-CEO’s severance following AML probe


Swedbank has canceled the severance pay of its former CEO and accepted a record fine of 4 billion Swedish Krona (U.S. $390 million) in the wake of the findings of an independent investigation into its anti-money laundering deficiencies.


Swedish regulator fines Swedbank record $390M for AML deficiencies


Swedbank AB has been issued a record 4 billion Swedish Krona (U.S. $390 million) administrative fine for what Sweden’s financial watchdog called “serious deficiencies in its management of the risk of money laundering in its Baltic operations.”

Cyber locks

Study: Fear of data breaches stifling bank innovation


Research by consultancy firm Accenture shows companies in financial services are more concerned with guarding themselves against the impact of a data breach than realizing any financial benefits of using the data.


Swedbank announces new risk chief as probe nears end


Swedbank announced the appointment of Rolf Marquardt as chief risk officer just over a week prior to the expected announcement of the findings of a probe into its AML shortcomings conducted by law firm Clifford Chance.


PwC survey: Finance leaders worried about global recession


The potential for the coronavirus outbreak to lead to a global recession topped the list of concerns among finance leaders based in the United States and Mexico, according to a new survey released by PwC.


Swedbank notifies OFAC of potential sanctions violations


Swedbank announced it has reported approximately $4.8 million worth of transactions that might be subject to U.S. sanctions to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.


Wells Fargo ends wild week with new general counsel appointment


Wells Fargo capped a tumultuous week Friday when it announced the appointment of Ellen Patterson as its new senior executive vice president and general counsel.

Duke and Quigley

Wells Fargo former board chairs hesitant to accept accountability


Elizabeth Duke and James Quigley remained unwavering about accepting any sort of accountability in their oversight roles as former board members of Wells Fargo at a tense Congressional hearing Wednesday.

Charlie Scharf

Wells Fargo CEO says bank’s past behavior ‘deeply disturbing,’ vows change


Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf, who has led the scandal-plagued megabank for four months, was upfront about the bank’s failure to stem abuses in its banking, lending, and auto insurance divisions when he testified at a Congressional hearing Tuesday.

Fifth Third

CFPB lawsuit against Fifth Third mirrors Wells Fargo allegations


Fifth Third Bank, National Association could potentially be in as much legal and regulatory trouble as Wells Fargo if allegations of unauthorized account opening brought by the CFPB hold true.

Wells Fargo

Two Wells Fargo board members resign ahead of congressional hearing


Two Wells Fargo board members who were scheduled to testify at a congressional hearing this week in the aftermath of the financial institution’s fake account scandal have resigned.


Former NCUA ethics officer drank at strip clubs on job, report reveals


The long-serving ethics officer for the National Credit Union Administration retired late last year after admitting to visiting strip clubs and drinking on the job, according to an internal investigation.


Congressional report blasts ‘reckless megabank’ Wells Fargo, regulators


A scathing report on Wells Fargo published by the House Financial Services Committee majority tells the story of a recidivist megabank whose senior management and board of directors refuse to take compliance seriously and the unresponsive financial regulators who let it all slide.

Bank fail

Former U.S. Bank risk officer pays $450K for AML compliance failures


The former chief operational risk officer at U.S. Bank has agreed to pay a $450,000 penalty for his role in the bank failing to implement and maintain an effective anti-money laundering compliance program.


Three former Barclays execs acquitted of fraud charges


The Serious Fraud Office suffered another major setback in the U.K.’s first trial against bank executives for misconduct during the 2008 financial crisis, after three former executives of Barclays were acquitted of fraud charges.

Good news Bad news

Six compliance lessons from Wells Fargo’s really bad week


Two more settlements reached by Wells Fargo with regulators in the span of a week impart yet more “what not to do” ethics and compliance lessons.

Wells Fargo

SEC rips Wells Fargo’s ETF compliance efforts in $35M settlement


Already reeling from last week’s $3 billion penalty related to its fake accounts scandal, Wells Fargo took another hit Thursday in the form of a $35 million SEC settlement related to poor supervision of investment recommendation practices.


CCO Q&A: Managing compliance in the FinTech space


Compliance Week discusses with Shannon Duncan, CCO and director of operations at registered investment adviser Blooom, the many unique challenges of doing compliance in the complex, ever-evolving FinTech space.


​What’s next for Wells Fargo? Bank, execs still in crosshairs


Wells Fargo will pay $3 billion to resolve civil and criminal penalties with the DOJ and SEC related to its long-running fake accounts scandal, but the embattled bank—and its former executives—are far from out of the woods.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo to pay $3B to resolve fake account scandal


The Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday assessed total civil and criminal penalties of $3 billion against Wells Fargo & Co. and its subsidiary, Wells Fargo Bank, in the aftermath of its fake account scandal.


Powell: Legislation to address LIBOR transition unlikely


Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress he does not expect federal legislation will be needed to address the demise of the London Interbank Offered Rate, which is set to expire in 2021.


Study: Post-financial crisis fines against financial institutions hit $36B


Global fines and penalties against financial institutions hit $36 billion last year, as ramifications from the financial crisis continue to reverberate throughout the financial services industry, according to a new report.

Brexit star

Experts weigh in on Brexit consequences for GDPR, AML, more


The wheels to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union are finally in motion, but the hard work still remains as to what kind of future trading relationship the country has with the single market.


Treasury lists ‘compliance weaknesses’ as U.S. finance vulnerability


A new report published by the Department of the Treasury cites compliance weaknesses among the most significant illicit finance threats and vulnerabilities facing the U.S. financial system.

Volcker rule

Proposed Volcker rule rollback gets pushback from agency leadership


Five federal agencies agreed that now would be a good time to ease restrictions on bank investments in hedge funds or private equity funds, triggering concern by some that the deregulation could be harmful. But is apprehension over the proposed Volcker rule relaxation overblown?


Study: Compliance officers in finance face ‘unnecessary risks’


Compliance officers in the financial services industry face “unnecessary risks” that undermine effectiveness and regulatory goals, according to a new report by the Compliance Committee of the New York City Bar Association.

In over his head

Lessons from a CCO ‘in way over his head’


A recent court ruling tells the story of a former chief compliance officer that “literally had no idea what he was doing or what he was getting himself into” when he took the position at an investment advisory firm.

Wells Fargo

OCC fines former Wells Fargo CEO $17.5M, bans him from banking industry


Former Wells Fargo Bank CEO John Stumpf was disciplined by the OCC on Thursday, but is the ban of someone in his mid-60s with tens of millions of dollars in net worth really more than a wrist slap? cover img

White paper: Enforcement Actions: Monitoring Trends, Regulatory Complexity, and Best Practices for Risk Management

2020-01-24T10:55:00+00:00Provided by

Learn how financial compliance, risk, and crime professionals can efficiently track and monitor the growing number of enforcement actions and current trends in’s latest eBook.


Six strategies for FinTech adoption in banking

2020-01-23T16:30:00+00:00By Thomas Wan, International Compliance Training Academy

Thomas Wan of the International Compliance Training Academy outlines strategies for navigating the dynamic terrain of FinTech adoption within the banking industry.

ESG bank

Fitch Ratings: ESG plays increasingly influential role on bank lending


Environmental, social, and governance factors are increasingly playing an influential role in the underwriting processes of global banks, according to a new report released by Fitch Ratings.

Wells Fargo adds enterprise risk chief

2020-01-07T18:44:00+00:00By Scuttlebutt

Financial services giant Wells Fargo announced Price Sloan will join the company as chief strategic enterprise risk officer.


UK Finance slams overregulation in financial services sector


UK Finance, the U.K. regulator responsible for the financial services sector, is offering recommendations to curb the abundance of intersecting rules in FS.