Financial Services

SARs chart

Analysis: Improving SARs effectiveness takes more than act of Congress


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


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


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


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


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.


All signs point to aggressive consumer protection under Biden


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.


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


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


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.


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


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’s foray into FCPA enforcement creates new risk factors


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 fined $99K for digital currency sanctions violations


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.


OFAC fines Saudi bank for Sudan/Syria sanctions violations


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.


CCO allegedly ignored in Ripple cryptocurrency lawsuit


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.


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


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


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.


OFAC closes investigation into Danske Estonia case


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.


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


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


FinTech darling Robinhood fined $65M for misleading customers


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 fined $34.8M over treatment of cash-strapped customers


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 charges CCO over illegal security sales practices


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.


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


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 passes defense bill with big ramifications for AML, whistleblowers


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


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


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


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.


UBS chief facing investigation in ING money laundering case


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


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.


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


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


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.


Norway’s DNB facing potential $45M AML fine


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.


Five compliance triumphs from 2020


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


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.


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


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


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


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


Crackdown on culture part of widespread regulatory push


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.


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


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.


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


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


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


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.


More data, more problems with FinCEN international transfer proposal?


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


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


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 under Biden will likely get new director, new direction


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


ESMA review slams German authorities’ supervision of Wirecard


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.


JPMorgan Chase facing potential fine for internal control deficiencies


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.”


Citigroup chief risk officer to depart amid risk management overhaul


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


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


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