Financial Services

Crypto collapse

CFTC commissioner stresses ‘urgency’ in call for heightened crypto oversight


Christy Goldsmith Romero, a commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is lobbying the regulator to use its existing authority to conduct “heightened supervision” over derivative exchanges to create more oversight in crypto markets.


OCC sets sights on big banks in updated penalty guidance


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s new procedures for assessing civil penalties establishes fines as high as $400 million for misconduct—more than double the highest total in previous guidance—based on the size of the institution and severity of the violations.

Julius Baer

FCA fines Julius Baer subsidiary $21.5M for bribery scheme


Julius Baer International will pay more than £18 million (U.S. $21.5 million) to settle charges laid by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority for paying bribes to generate business with a Russian oil company.

Jyske Bank

Danish financial regulator refers Jyske Bank to police for AML violations


The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority reported Jyske Bank to Danish police for allegedly violating the country’s anti-money laundering law regarding its customer due diligence measures.


Regs order Citi to address unresolved data management woes


Citigroup has successfully resolved key compliance shortcomings identified as part of a 2020 enforcement action but still has work to do to address data management weaknesses, according to federal banking regulators.

Goldman Sachs Tower

Goldman Sachs unit fined $4M for ESG investment lapses


Goldman Sachs Asset Management agreed to pay $4 million to settle SEC charges it failed to follow its own policies and procedures regarding a trio of investment products marketed for their environmental, social, and governance considerations.

London dark

Regulatory independence vital in U.K.’s fight against fraud

2022-11-21T17:50:00+00:00By Rachel Adamson, International Compliance Association

To do their jobs properly, regulators must be able to act independently and without government intervention. Rather than seeking to tighten its grip on regulators, the U.K. government should be safeguarding their independence as a matter of urgent priority.


FINRA to sweep crypto-related communications by broker-dealers


The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced an examination sweep of retail communications by broker-dealers and their affiliates related to cryptocurrency asset products and services.


Cybersecurity staffing woes play part in FTC Safeguards Rule delays


The Federal Trade Commission extended the deadline for compliance with certain changes to its Safeguards Rule announced last year, in part because of labor shortages in the cybersecurity market.


Treasury recommends more oversight for bank-fintech relationships


A new Treasury report found as the trend of nonbank fintech companies providing financial services in partnership with regulated entities continues to grow, regulators need to increase oversight of these relationships to curb the risks they pose.


FTX collapse should provide momentum to regulate crypto


The collapse and bankruptcy of digital asset exchange FTX offers stark lessons into why rules that apply to traditional investments—overseen by government regulation—ought to apply to digital investments as well.


S&P Global fined $2.5M over conflict of interest lapses


Credit rating agency S&P Global Ratings agreed to pay $2.5 million and improve its compliance practices to settle allegations by the SEC that its marketing team pressured the ratings team concerning the rating of a particular mortgage-backed security transaction.


​Former investment adviser CCO pleads guilty to wire fraud


Jennifer Campbell, the former chief compliance officer of a New York-based investment adviser, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to wire fraud in federal court.

SEC building

PIC Renegade Properties to pay $400K for investment fund violations


A general partner in a real estate investment fund agreed to pay $400,000 to settle allegations it failed to register the fund and take reasonable steps to verify investors were accredited, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced.


SEC investigating Apollo Global, Carlyle Group, KKR for employee off-channel communications


Three private equity firms have disclosed they are under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for having allowed employees to use unauthorized communication channels like WhatsApp and WeChat to conduct company business.


As new SEC marketing rule takes effect, many questions remain


The 18-month probationary period for the new Securities and Exchange Commission marketing rule for investment advisers has expired and compliance with the rule is now mandatory.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo names diversity head as probes mount


Wells Fargo announced the appointment of Kristy Fercho as head of diverse segments, representation, and inclusion. She takes up the role as the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission investigate the bank’s diversity hiring practices.

U.S. Bank

CFPB probes U.S. Bank over its handling of unemployment benefit payments


U.S. Bank disclosed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched an investigation into the bank’s administration of unemployment benefits during the Covid-19 pandemic.


FinCEN: U.S. banks paid $1.2B to ransomware criminals last year


Banks reported paying a record $1.2 billion to ransomware criminals in 2021, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network announced.

Wells Fargo

SEC joins DOJ in probe of Wells Fargo diversity hiring practices


The news for Wells Fargo related to alleged sham interviews of minority job candidates continues to worsen, with the bank disclosing the Securities and Exchange Commission has joined federal prosecutors in examining the issue.

Data money

CFPB outlines rule mandating FIs provide customers their data


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau initiated rulemaking that would require banks and other financial institutions to make a consumer’s personal financial data available to them upon request.


Danske Bank projects $2.1B settlement for Estonia money laundering probes


Danske Bank expects to pay a total of 15.5 billion Danish kroner (U.S. $2.1 billion) to U.S. and Danish authorities to settle allegations it overlooked more than $200 billion in dirty money laundered through its former Estonia branch.


Automation can improve AML compliance but won’t replace human touch


While automation has the potential to transform anti-money laundering compliance, it will not replace the human practitioners relied upon to get investigations to the finish line, experts discussed at the ACAMS annual conference in Las Vegas.

Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse names new CCO, plans strategic overhaul


Credit Suisse announced sweeping changes to its strategy that includes selling off parts of its investment banking portfolio and shrinking its global headcount—an attempt to pivot from risky investment ventures and back toward its historic specialty of wealth management.

OCC sign

New OCC office to supervise fintechs


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency will heighten its focus on the financial technology space with the creation of a new department in early 2023.

JPMorgan Chase

Former JPMorgan compliance exec settles with bank over SOX whistleblower suit


Shaquala Williams, a compliance executive who sued JPMorgan Chase after she said she was fired for blowing the whistle on deficiencies in the bank’s anti-money laundering compliance program, agreed to settle her case.


ICICI Bank cited by OCC for BSA/AML compliance failures


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ordered the New York branch of ICICI Bank to implement sweeping changes to its anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance programs but will not fine the bank if the improvements are completed.

Cetera Financial

Cetera affiliates fined $1M each over conflicts of interest


A pair of investment advisers owned by Cetera Financial Group must pay a total of more than $8.6 million as part of a final judgment obtained by the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging the defrauding of Cetera advisory clients.


CFPB facing ‘existential threat’ following appeals court funding ruling


An appeals court’s finding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s funding mechanism to be unconstitutional could affect a multitude of lawsuits filed against the agency, according to legal experts.


Barclays facing $56M fine over Qatari investor disclosures


The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority provisionally notified Barclays it intends to fine the bank £50 million (U.S. $56 million) for failing to properly disclose financial arrangements made with Qatari investors in 2008.

Bank of England

MS Amlin Underwriting fined $11M over risk, governance lapses


The U.K.’s Prudential Regulation Authority fined specialty insurer MS Amlin Underwriting nearly £9.7 million (U.S. $10.9 million) for risk management and governance failings over a five-year period.


CFIUS issues first-ever enforcement and penalty guidelines


The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States issued its first-ever enforcement and penalty guidelines for entities that violate mitigation agreements with CFIUS or otherwise run afoul of the Defense Production Act of 1950.


Gatehouse Bank fined $1.77M for inadequate customer due diligence


Gatehouse Bank was fined £1.58 million (U.S. $1.77 million) by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority for failing to address “significant weakness” in AML checks the bank conducted on customers who posed a higher risk of committing financial crime.

DOJ building

Ex-CCO sentenced to 6-plus years in prison for role in Ponzi scheme


Vania May Bell, the former chief compliance officer and comptroller at Executive Compensation Planners, was sentenced to more than six years in prison for her role in a Ponzi scheme that defrauded clients of more than $11 million.

Treasury Department

Bittrex to pay $29M for BSA violations in landmark FinCEN, OFAC case


Virtual currency trading platform Bittrex agreed to pay more than $29 million for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and other foreign asset restrictions by regularly allowing transactions with customers in Iran, Syria, and other U.S.-sanctioned nations.

State Street

State Street recruits global CCO from Google


State Street Corp. hired Yvette Hollingsworth Clark to be its global chief compliance officer and executive vice president. Hollingsworth Clark joins from Google, where she served as head of compliance for the consumer trust business.

Money laundering

Effective collaboration key to fight against financial crime

2022-10-10T14:16:00+01:00By James Thomas, International Compliance Association

The Fintel Alliance—a partnership involving AML regulator AUSTRAC, Western Australia Police, and analysts from a handful of large banks—provides an example of the positive outcomes of collaboration in fighting financial crime.

London cityscape

FCA faults board oversight of compliance in fining Sigma Broking $589K


London-based brokerage firm Sigma Broking was fined £531,000 (U.S. $589,000) for failing to report certain transactions to the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.

CFTC building

CFTC commissioner says Cantor Fitzgerald unit’s $1.9M fine too lenient


Christy Goldsmith Romero believes the Commodity Futures Trading Commission let a swap execution facility affiliate of financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald off easy when it was fined $1.9 million.

SEC building

Infinity Q CCO settles SEC charges of aiding $1B fraud scheme


Scott Lindell, the former chief risk officer and chief compliance officer of Infinity Q Capital Management, settled SEC charges he helped the founder of the investment adviser carry out a $1 billion overvaluation fraud scheme.


FINRA sets fine ranges for AML failures, removes limits on certain penalties


The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority increased penalties for member violations of securities rules, including removing upper limits on fines for certain instances of misconduct.


Upheld ruling in Commerzbank compliance officer suit imparts discrimination lessons


A recent ruling against Commerzbank in a case brought by a compliance officer serves as reminder employers should not make “stereotypical” assumptions about what tasks pregnant female staff or those returning from maternity leave can perform, legal experts said.


ADM unit fined $500K by CFTC for supervision failures


ADM Investor Services, a futures broker affiliate of food processing giant ADM, agreed to pay $500,000 to settle CFTC charges it failed to properly supervise its employees and agents in their handling of commodity interest accounts.


Barclays to pay $361M to resolve sales of unregistered securities


Barclays PLC and Barclays Bank agreed to pay $361 million to resolve allegations from the SEC the bank failed to implement internal controls to track the sale of $17.7 billion worth of unregistered securities transactions.


Fed recruits 6 large banks for climate scenario analysis pilot


Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo will participate in a pilot climate scenario analysis exercise organized by the Federal Reserve that seeks to enhance climate-related financial risk management efforts in the industry.

Rohit Chopra

U.S. Chamber, bank groups sue CFPB for expanding supervisory remit


A group of banking and business associations sued the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Director Rohit Chopra for overstepping their authority when the agency indicated it would begin actively searching for discrimination and disparate impacts during supervisory exams.

Regions Bank

Regions Bank to pay $191M for surprise overdraft fees


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered Regions Bank to pay $191 million for allegedly charging Illegal, surprise overdraft fees to customers that the bank’s compliance staff warned against.

Bank of America

Compliance deficiencies highlighted in $1.8B crackdown on messaging apps


Eleven banks, investment firms, and their affiliates will pay a total of more than $1.8 billion in fines for “widespread and longstanding failures” in monitoring, maintaining, and preserving electronic communications by employees.

Sterling Bank

​Sterling Bank fined $6M by OCC over loan program lapses


Sterling Bank and Trust agreed to pay a fine of $6 million assessed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for deficiencies in its former residential loan product.

Business leaders

HBOS case latest example of U.K. senior exec accountability woes


The Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority ending their six-year investigations into former senior managers at HBOS without enforcement serves as reminder of the United Kingdom’s checkered history of bringing executives to book.