Financial Services


SARs chart

Analysis: Improving SARs effectiveness takes more than act of Congress

2021-01-19T19:25:00+00:00By

In the wake of 2020’s FinCEN Files leaks, the U.S. Treasury this year will undertake a thorough reevaluation of the country’s AML program under the Bank Secrecy Act.

Wells Fargo

Ex-Wells Fargo general counsel fined $3.5M for fake accounts role

2021-01-19T18:20:00+00:00By

General Counsel James Strother agreed to a $3.5 million settlement to become the seventh former senior executive at Wells Fargo fined by the OCC for their role in the bank’s fake account scandal.

Capital One

Capital One fined $390M for ‘egregious’ AML compliance failures

2021-01-19T17:59:00+00:00By

Capital One will pay a $390 million civil penalty for compliance failures regarding banking services offered to its check cashing group, which—according to FinCEN—had a reputation for money-laundering risks.

Technology decisions

Surveys: Rushing technology decisions comes with big compliance risks

2021-01-15T18:23:00+00:00By

Embracing technology to help manage risk and improve efficiencies is a trend that’s been developing in the compliance space for a while, but the pandemic has fast-tracked the urgency behind it, according to a couple of recent surveys.

Bank fail

OCC finalizes controversial ‘Fair Access’ rule as acting head departs

2021-01-14T17:08:00+00:00By

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency published its much-criticized “Fair Access to Financial Services” rule the same day Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks announced he is stepping down.

CFPB

All signs point to aggressive consumer protection under Biden

2021-01-12T17:28:00+00:00By

Consumer protection initiatives are expected to be a major area of focus for President-elect Joe Biden, who is widely anticipated to breathe new life into the enforcement priorities of federal and state agencies with such powers.

AMLCover

e-Book: AML: New U.S. regulation to start the year off

2021-01-12T03:00:00+00:00Provided by

Congress has passed a defense bill that contains amendments with big ramifications for AML, including new requirements around beneficial ownership and a new Bank Secrecy Act whistleblower program at the Treasury.

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank to pay $130M to settle bribery, ‘spoofing’ charges

2021-01-08T23:42:00+00:00By

Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay more than $130 million to resolve charges that it paid bribes to third parties to secure business deals in Asia and the Middle East, in addition to a separate commodities fraud “spoofing” case.

Money laundering

U.K. tax authority fines MT Global record $32.4M for AML failures

2021-01-07T22:18:00+00:00By

MT Global Limited, a U.K.-based money transfer company, was hit with a record £23.8 million (U.S. $32.4 million) fine by the U.K.’s tax authority for violations of anti-money laundering regulations.

Syria

OFAC fines French bank UBAF $8.6M for Syria-related sanctions violations

2021-01-05T17:28:00+00:00By

The Office of Foreign Assets Control settled with a French bank for processing payments on behalf of sanctioned Syrian financial institutions that were followed by corresponding funds transfers through the U.S. financial system.

CFTC

CFTC’s foray into FCPA enforcement creates new risk factors

2021-01-05T14:52:00+00:00By

The CFTC’s recent fine ladled onto a DOJ investigation into foreign corrupt practices by Swiss energy trader Vitol S.A. should force companies with any exposure in the commodities market to reexamine their risk profiles, experts say.

BitGo

BitGo fined $99K for digital currency sanctions violations

2020-12-31T15:12:00+00:00By

The Office of Foreign Assets Control announced an approximately $99,000 settlement with digital asset platform BitGo for lapses in its sanctions compliance procedures that led to 183 apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs.

Sanctions

OFAC fines Saudi bank for Sudan/Syria sanctions violations

2020-12-29T15:57:00+00:00By

The Office of Foreign Assets Control announced a $650,000 settlement with a Saudi Arabian bank for apparent violations of sanctions against Sudan and Syria related to transactions that took place via the U.S. financial system.

XRP

CCO allegedly ignored in Ripple cryptocurrency lawsuit

2020-12-23T17:51:00+00:00By

The chief compliance officer at Ripple Labs allegedly warned company leaders on multiple occasions that its marketing of its cryptocurrency offering, XRP, could lead the SEC to classify it as a security—the focal point of a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Global

Report: Fines against financial institutions hit $10.4B in 2020

2020-12-22T21:14:00+00:00By

Financial institutions have been hit with $10.4 billion in global fines and penalties related to AML, KYC, data privacy, and MiFID regulations in 2020, according to a recent Fenergo report.

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab U.K. fined $12M for failing to protect client assets

2020-12-21T20:18:00+00:00By

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority fined Charles Schwab U.K. approximately £9 million (U.S. $12 million) for compliance failures related to the protection of client assets.

Danske

OFAC closes investigation into Danske Estonia case

2020-12-21T19:39:00+00:00By

Danske Bank received a no-action letter from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control regarding an investigation at the bank’s infamous Estonian branch.

UBScrop

U.K. court upholds insider trading charges against former UBS compliance officer

2020-12-18T17:38:00+00:00By

A U.K. appeals court upheld five insider trading convictions against a former senior compliance officer at investment bank UBS.

Robinhood

FinTech darling Robinhood fined $65M for misleading customers

2020-12-17T19:38:00+00:00By

Mobile trading app provider Robinhood Financial, which has become a disruptive force in the stock market, has agreed to pay $65 million to the SEC to settle charges of misleading customers about how it makes money and for failing to secure best sale prices.

Barclays

Barclays fined $34.8M over treatment of cash-strapped customers

2020-12-16T20:30:00+00:00By

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority fined Barclays Bank and its related units £26 million (U.S. $34.8 million) for poor treatment of consumer credit customers experiencing financial hardship.

SEC

SEC charges CCO over illegal security sales practices

2020-12-15T19:24:00+00:00By

A chief compliance officer is one of three individuals on the receiving end of SEC charges for illegally selling securities in unregistered transactions to retail investors while acting as an unregistered broker.

woods

U.S. beneficial ownership efforts a welcome sight for global AML community

2020-12-14T20:14:00+00:00By

U.S. Congress’ defense spending bill requiring corporations to identify who owns and controls them is a significant milestone in the global effort to put an end to anonymous shell companies, writes Martin Woods.

Congress

Congress passes defense bill with big ramifications for AML, whistleblowers

2020-12-11T22:01:00+00:00By

Congress’ defense spending bill approved Friday includes amendments that could dramatically alter the fight against money laundering, in addition to a new BSA whistleblower program with some kinks to be worked out.

Data sharing

New FinCEN guidance encourages information sharing among banks

2020-12-11T17:52:00+00:00By

FinCEN Director Kenneth Blanco announced updated guidance to encourage more financial institutions to share information among their peers regarding suspicious transactions.

Deutsche

Reports: Ex-EY partner steps aside as Deutsche exec amid Wirecard probe

2020-12-11T17:05:00+00:00By

A former EY partner is reportedly relinquishing his position as Deutsche Bank’s head of accounting temporarily after German prosecutors launched an investigation into his role as a lead auditor for Wirecard.

ING

UBS chief facing investigation in ING money laundering case

2020-12-11T16:24:00+00:00By

A Dutch court has ordered a criminal investigation into UBS CEO Ralph Hamers for his role in the ING money laundering scandal that occurred during his tenure as the latter financial institution’s leader.

Intercontinental Exchange

Intercontinental Exchange subsidiary fined $8M for inaccurate securities quotes

2020-12-09T18:00:00+00:00By

A New York-based subsidiary of the Intercontinental Exchange has agreed to pay $8 million as part of a settlement with the SEC for compliance deficiencies related to its provision of securities quotes to subscribers.

SECcrop

U.K. firm BlueCrest fined $170M for violating U.S. securities laws

2020-12-08T17:25:00+00:00By

U.K.-based investment fund BlueCrest Capital Management has agreed to pay $170 million as part of a settlement with the SEC for allegedly violating anti-fraud provisions of U.S. securities laws.

Compliance fails

Top ethics and compliance failures of 2020

2020-12-08T13:30:00+00:00By

From a massive accounting fraud scandal in Germany to deceitful consumer tactics among China-based companies to unethical practices on the environmental front in the United States—CW’s list of the top ethics and compliance failures of 2020 spans the globe.

DNB

Norway’s DNB facing potential $45M AML fine

2020-12-07T17:11:00+00:00By

DNB ASA, Norway’s largest financial services group, is facing a potential fine of NOK 400 million (U.S. $45.4 million) for inadequate compliance with the Norwegian Anti-Money Laundering Act.

VWcrop

Five compliance triumphs from 2020

2020-12-07T13:11:00+00:00By

CW reveals its list of five compliance wins from the year, including Samsung for its honesty, Volkswagen for successfully wrapping up its monitorship, 3M for stellar ethics, and more.

Joe Biden

Biden’s SEC set to require disclosure of ESG, climate change risk

2020-12-03T21:12:00+00:00By

The SEC under President-elect Joe Biden will push ESG and climate change-related risk alerts, guidance, and rulemaking that will likely require companies to disclose how these risks affect their bottom line.

authentic8 300x200

CPE Webcast: Unveiling 2020 online research trends

2020-12-01T14:00:00+00:00Provided by

Join Authentic8’s Jeff Phillips and Nick Finnberg, OSINT training lead and former financial crime analyst, as they discuss key takeaways from a financial crime survey of investigators from more than 150 organizations worldwide.

Clocks

U.S. regs urge banks to transition from LIBOR ‘as soon as practicable’

2020-11-30T19:17:00+00:00By

U.S. banking regulators are encouraging financial institutions to stop entering into new contracts that use the U.S. dollar LIBOR as a reference rate ahead of its slated expiration at the end of 2021.

columnist icons

Why OCC ‘Fair Access’ proposed rule is a win-lose

2020-11-25T18:27:00+00:00By

How can true cooperation be achieved when the solution being proposed is essentially to pit high-risk, controversial banking customers against the banks with which they want to do business, wonders Jaclyn Jaeger.

JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase fined $250M for ‘unsound’ internal control practices

2020-11-25T18:18:00+00:00By

The OCC fined JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. $250 million for weaknesses in its internal controls and internal audit for its fiduciary activities.

woods

Crackdown on culture part of widespread regulatory push

2020-11-20T19:53:00+00:00By

A recent ruling by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority to ban three individuals from the financial services industry for out-of-work misconduct is part of a broader push by regulators to crack down on matters related to culture, writes Martin Woods.

AILaw

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

2020-11-17T16:45:00+00:00By

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.

Climate

U.K. eyes history with climate change disclosure plan package

2020-11-16T17:14:00+00:00By

Financial services firms in the United Kingdom must soon begin reporting what material financial impact they experience from climate change under a new disclosure mandate that is the first of its kind in the world.

Wall Street

Even with divided Congress, Wall Street should brace for Biden presidency

2020-11-16T16:44:00+00:00By

Should Republicans hold on to their majority in the Senate, President-elect Joe Biden could still find ways to pass sweeping economic legislation during his first term.

Wells Fargo bank

Former Wells Fargo CEO Stumpf to pay $2.5M in SEC settlement

2020-11-13T19:04:00+00:00By

Former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle charges brought by the SEC for his role in misleading investors in connection with the bank’s infamous fake account scandal.

woods

More data, more problems with FinCEN international transfer proposal?

2020-11-12T18:10:00+00:00By

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.

Coronavirus fails

OCC report: Banks sound, but compliance risks elevated amid pandemic

2020-11-11T19:10:00+00:00By

The U.S. banking industry is stable nearly nine months into the coronavirus pandemic, but the OCC warns of increased risks for banks seeking to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act and consumer protection and fair lending requirements.

Julius Baer

Julius Baer reserves $80M for FIFA corruption settlement

2020-11-09T20:07:00+00:00By

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.

CFPB

CFPB under Biden will likely get new director, new direction

2020-11-09T14:17:00+00:00By

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is likely to revert to its more aggressive, Obama-era version of itself under a Biden administration.

AdobeStock_360633962_Editorial_Use_Only

ESMA review slams German authorities’ supervision of Wirecard

2020-11-04T20:48:00+00:00By

A damning report by the EU’s securities markets regulator found numerous shortcomings in German authorities’ supervision of Wirecard’s financial reporting leading up to its collapse surrounding a $2 billion accounting scandal.

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JPMorgan Chase facing potential fine for internal control deficiencies

2020-11-04T19:04:00+00:00By

A subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase is facing a potential civil penalty “related to historical deficiencies in internal controls and internal audit over certain advisory and other activities.”

Citi

Citigroup chief risk officer to depart amid risk management overhaul

2020-11-03T19:38:00+00:00By

The chief risk officer at Citigroup is set to depart from his role in the wake of a $400 million enforcement action that ordered the firm to overhaul its risk management and compliance programs.

Coronavirus look ahead

New bank resiliency guidance tackles cyber-risk, pandemic planning

2020-11-02T17:45:00+00:00By

Federal banking regulators have released new operational resiliency guidance aimed to strengthen risk management around technology-based failures, cyber-incidents, pandemic outbreaks, natural disasters, and more.

Kurt Michels

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

2020-11-02T16:57:00+00:00By

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