Regulatory Enforcement

Enel Energia

Italian DPA fines Enel Energia $30.1M under GDPR over telemarketing practices


Italian energy supplier Enel Energia has been fined €26.5 million (U.S. $30.1 million) under the General Data Protection Regulation for aggressive telemarketing.

Credit Suisse sign

Credit Suisse unit fined $9M for conflict of interest, recordkeeping lapses


Credit Suisse Securities agreed to pay a $9 million fine levied by FINRA for failing to comply with securities laws and rules involving potential conflicts of interest and the safeguarding of customer securities.


KPMG fined $4.1M for Conviviality audit failings, reaches settlement regarding Regenersis


The U.K. Financial Reporting Council announced sanctions against KPMG regarding its audits at now-collapsed alcohol retailer Conviviality, in addition to a settlement with the Big Four firm concerning its work at software company Regenersis.


Report: Financial crime fines down in 2021; AML penalties drop 78 percent


Fines for corporate crimes last year fell by more than half to 8.7 billion euros (U.S. $9.9 billion) from 2020’s total of €20 billion (U.S. $22.6 billion), according to a report released by research firm AML Intelligence.


Report: GDPR fines surpass $1B in 2021; breach notifications also rise


Nearly €1.1 billion (U.S. $1.2 billion) worth of fines have been issued against organizations in the past year for violations of the General Data Protection Regulation, according to the latest annual report by law firm DLA Piper.


FRC expands probe of PwC’s Babcock International audits


The U.K. Financial Reporting Council has expanded its investigation into PwC over its statutory audits of British defense contractor Babcock International Group to include the fiscal years ended March 31, 2019, and March 31, 2020.


CCO liability framework seeks to acknowledge compliance support concerns


The National Society of Compliance Professionals has drafted a framework that urges regulators to consider chief compliance officer liability more holistically, in the context of the compliance culture within a CCO’s firm.


Sojitz Hong Kong subsidiary fined $5.2M for violating Iran sanctions


Sojitz HK agreed to pay approximately $5.2 million for violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran that occurred when rogue employees deliberately misled company executives and compliance regarding the true origin of goods worth more than $75 million.


Hyzon Motors discloses SEC subpoena following short seller report


Hyzon Motors, a global supplier of hydrogen fuel cell-powered heavy vehicles, said it received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding allegations raised in a short seller report in late September.

Stock downward trend

DOJ probe into shadowy underworld of short selling ‘long overdue’


A Department of Justice criminal investigation into illegal short selling is just the latest indication these schemes demand greater scrutiny that chief compliance officers and in-house counsel can no longer afford to ignore.


Report: FCPA investigations, enforcement actions hit 10-year lows in 2021


The number of enforcement actions brought under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 2021 fell to the lowest total in a decade, according to a new report by the FCPA Clearinghouse at Stanford Law School.


Carnival to pay $1M for environmental probation violation


Cruise line operator Carnival Corp. has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $1 million penalty for violating a condition of its probation relating to its environmental compliance plan.


Report: Financial services fines drop 49 percent in 2021


The value of penalties against global financial services firms in 2021 dropped to half the total levied in 2020, according to research by compliance technology provider Fenergo.


Elizabeth Holmes verdict primes DOJ for white-collar crackdown


For Department of Justice leadership that recently laid out plans to strengthen their response to corporate crime, the outcome of the Elizabeth Holmes trial is an arrow in the quiver for what might be a new age of white-collar enforcement.


Mishcon de Reya fined $316K for AML failings


The Solicitors Regulation Authority, the regulatory body for solicitors in England and Wales, announced British law firm Mishcon de Reya has agreed to pay a financial penalty of £232,500 (U.S. $316,000) for AML compliance violations.

Google Ireland

France’s CNIL fines Google, Facebook $237M combined over cookies consent


French data privacy watchdog CNIL again sidestepped the GDPR in fining Google and Facebook a combined €210 million (U.S. $237 million) for making it too difficult for users to refuse cookies when accessing their websites.


Former Swedbank CEO Birgitte Bonnesen charged with fraud


The Swedish Economic Crime Authority announced charges against Birgitte Bonnesen, Swedbank’s former chief executive officer, for fraud and market manipulation regarding the bank’s money laundering scandal.


Airbnb subsidiary to remit $91K for Cuba sanctions violations


Airbnb Payments, a registered money services business and wholly owned subsidiary of Airbnb, will remit $91,172.29 for apparent violations of sanctions against Cuba, OFAC announced.

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank fined $9.8M for Euribor control weaknesses


Germany’s market regulator BaFin imposed an administrative fine of 8.66 million euros (U.S. $9.8 million) on Deutsche Bank for breaches of the European Union’s Benchmarks Regulation.

NYC taxis

SEC charges Medallion Financial with fraud, illegal touting


The SEC charged New York City taxi medallion loan company Medallion Financial with participating in two illegal schemes to pump up the declining value of its stock. Also charged was California-based media strategy company Ichabod’s Cranium.

TD Bank

TD Bank fined $105K for North Korea sanctions violations


TD Bank, N.A. agreed to pay approximately $105,000 as part of a settlement with OFAC for “multiple sanctions compliance breakdowns” that contributed to more than 1,000 apparent violations of North Korean sanctions regulations.

London cityscape

BlueCrest facing $55.5M fine for failing to manage fairly a conflict of interest


The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority announced its intention to fine hedge fund BlueCrest Capital Management £40,806,700 (U.S. $55.5 million) for failing to manage fairly a conflict of interest. BlueCrest has challenged the decision.


NatWest to pay $35M for defrauding U.S. Treasury markets


NatWest Markets, the investment banking arm of London-based NatWest Group, agreed to pay approximately $35 million after pleading guilty to engaging in various fraud schemes over the span of a decade in U.S. Treasury markets.


Global Infrastructure Management fined $4.5M for compliance failures


Registered investment adviser Global Infrastructure Management has agreed to pay a $4.5 million civil penalty as part of a settlement reached with the SEC for fee offset and disclosure failures caused by deficiencies in its compliance program.


Nikola to pay $125M to settle SEC fraud charges


Electric semitruck startup Nikola agreed to pay $125 million to settle charges brought by the SEC for defrauding investors by misleading them about its products, technical advancements, and commercial prospects.

EU data flag

Dissatisfaction with GDPR pushing EU countries toward local laws


So far, Europe’s wide-reaching data privacy rules have seemingly failed to curb Big Tech firms’ use and abuse of citizens’ personal data. As a result, some EU data regulators are pursuing their own investigations—often through other legislation.

Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered fined record $61.5M for liquidity reporting failures


The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority imposed a record fine of £46.55 million (U.S. $61.5 million) against Standard Chartered Bank for repeatedly misreporting a key metric to determine liquidity risk.


HSBC hit with $84M penalty over AML failings


The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority fined HSBC Bank £63,946,800 (U.S. $84.3 million) for failings in its anti-money laundering processes over an eight-year period.

JPMorgan Chase

SEC, CFTC fine JPMorgan Chase $200M for recordkeeping violations


JPMorgan Chase will pay $200 million in fines to settle charges brought by two federal regulators regarding the bank’s failure to maintain records of communications on securities, commodities, and swaps business matters made on bank employees’ personal devices.

Money laundering

CommunityBank of Texas fined $8M over AML failures


CommunityBank of Texas has agreed to pay $8 million as part of a consent order reached with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network regarding deficiencies in its anti-money laundering program linked to understaffing.


Wedbush Securities to pay $1.2M for role in microcap fraud scheme


California-based broker-dealer Wedbush Securities agreed to pay $1.2 million as part of a settlement with the SEC for the unregistered sale of microcap securities and its failure to file suspicious activity reports associated with those transactions.

Dark money

Ex-McKinsey partner pleads guilty to insider trading on Goldman Sachs deal


Former McKinsey & Co. Partner Puneet Dikshit pleaded guilty to using inside information to profit on the acquisition of a fintech company by client Goldman Sachs Group.


Grindr fined $7.2M for GDPR consent violations


The Norwegian Data Protection Authority announced a fine of NOK 65 million (U.S. $7.2 million) against gay dating app Grindr for sharing personal data with third parties without users’ consent.

NatWest Bank

NatWest fined $350M for AML failures in landmark case


National Westminster Bank was fined £264.8 million (U.S. $350 million) for three offenses of failing to comply with the United Kingdom’s anti-money laundering laws.


SFO integrity questioned after Unaoil conviction overturned


The Serious Fraud Office will be investigated by the U.K. Attorney General’s Office after a court said the agency denied a convicted former oil and gas executive the right to a fair trial.


WEX fined $350K over ICFR weaknesses


Financial technology service provider WEX agreed to pay $350,000 as part of a settlement with the SEC regarding violations of internal accounting control provisions in the federal securities laws at its former Brazilian subsidiary.


SEC charges 3 EY employees with auditor independence violations


The Securities and Exchange Commission charged three Ernst & Young employees for violations of the agency’s auditor independence rules regarding services carried out at Cintas Corp. A former accountant at Cintas was also charged.


Ten things I’d like to see happen in 2022 (2021 in review)


ESG and cryptocurrency figure to be key topics in 2022, but we’re also keeping an eye on President Biden’s anti-corruption efforts, details on Amazon’s record GDPR fine, the status of Facebook’s first CCO, and more.

Wells Fargo sign

FINRA fines Wells Fargo subsidiaries $2.25M for recordkeeping violations


Two Wells Fargo broker-dealers agreed to jointly pay a $2.25 million fine to settle charges levied by FINRA regarding a failure to store approximately 13 million customer records in the proper format over a 17-year span.

Dutch government building

Dutch DPA fines government tax authority $3.1M under GDPR


The Dutch Data Protection Authority announced a fine of €2.75 million (U.S. $3.1 million) against the government’s Tax and Customs Administration for data processing violations of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

Green accounting

FRC 2022 reviews to focus on climate risks, fraud


The U.K. Financial Reporting Council will prioritize climate-related financial disclosures in company accounts and climate risks in audits as key areas of supervisory focus for 2022/23.

Contract terms

SEC staff stresses importance of fallback language in LIBOR transition


Companies looking to avoid running afoul of the SEC in their LIBOR transition efforts would be wise to include fallback language in their contracts and investments that reference the soon-expiring benchmark rate.

Capital One

Five compliance triumphs from 2021


A key CCO appointment, a company committed to transparency, and a bank that spent big on improving its AML controls highlight CW’s annual list of laudable ethics and compliance moments.

Lucid Group

Lucid Group facing SEC subpoena over recent SPAC merger


Lucid Group said it received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning its special purpose acquisition company merger this summer.


Top ethics and compliance failures of 2021


Systemic risk management lapses at a financial services firm, allegations of toxic culture at a video game giant, and more of the same baffling behavior from one of the world’s largest tech companies comprise CW’s list of the biggest ethics and compliance fails of 2021.

Dialysis machine

American Renal Associates to pay $2M in accounting fraud case


American Renal Associates Holdings has agreed to pay $2 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges of accounting fraud allegedly perpetrated by three former financial executives at the dialysis provider.


Ex-Immunomedics CFO charged with insider trading


The SEC charged former Immunomedics Chief Financial Officer Usama Malik and his former romantic partner with insider trading. The Department of Justice also announced criminal charges for securities fraud.

Alcohol retail

FRC closes Conviviality accountant investigation; KPMG probe continues


The U.K. Financial Reporting Council announced the end of an investigation into an accountant that prepared and approved financial statements at collapsed alcohol retailer Conviviality.


Ex-Roadrunner CFO gets two years in prison for accounting fraud scheme


Peter Armbruster, the former chief financial officer of trucking and logistics company Roadrunner Transportation Systems, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for his role in a complex securities and accounting fraud scheme.


HSBC, Credit Suisse, Barclays, NatWest fined $389M total for currency cartel scheme


The European Commission fined HSBC, Credit Suisse, Barclays, and NatWest a total of €344 million (U.S. $389 million) for their participation in a trader-driven scheme to manipulate the foreign exchange spot market. UBS was not fined after first reporting the scheme.