Financial Crime Compliance Costs Keep Going Up


The costs of financial crime compliance jumped sharply in 2020, as Covid-19 complications caused a host of challenges and forced lots of compliance officers to spend more money on labor, according to a new report from LexisNexis Risk Solutions. The report surveyed more than 1,000 compliance officers at financial firms around the world, and provides…

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Capital One Whacked on AML Failures

Talk about mistakes that come back to haunt you: Capital One just agreed to pay a $390 million penalty for anti-money laundering compliance failures in a check-cashing unit the bank hasn’t even owned for seven years.  The settlement was announced by FinCEN last Friday. The 22-page statement of facts is a tale of poor risk…

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AML Reform and Whistleblowers


I try to be as cynical as possible about Congress, but this week may be one of those rare times when lawmakers actually do something intelligent. They’re poised to overhaul the nation’s anti-money laundering laws in a dramatic way, with a potentially huge gift to compliance officers to boot. That overhaul is the Anti-Money Laundering…

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Gasp! A Compliance Conference!


Compliance officers, we need to talk. Something amazing just happened. It happened thousands of miles away from most of us, in the windswept city of Wellington, New Zealand. There, the New Zealand Financial Intelligence Unit — the country’s chief anti-money laundering agency, roughly equivalent to FinCEN here in the United States — held a compliance…

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FinCEN Gives Guidance, Says Little


Anti-money laundering regulators gave fresh guidance Monday about what financial firms should do for adequate customer due diligence — guidance that was, alas, light on specific steps to take. Instead, compliance officers have a three-page document best described as “Do what you think is best, based upon risk.” The guidance comes from FinCEN, the Financial…

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Regulators on AML: Get Innovative

Financial regulators published a statement Monday encouraging banks to “implement innovative approaches” to their anti-money laundering compliance efforts, and said that firms will not be penalized for experimenting with new technologies for AML compliance “even if the pilot programs ultimately prove unsuccessful.” Those innovative approaches, the regulators said, might range from building sophisticated financial intelligence…

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Thoughts on Compliance, AI, and AML


Accenture published a report Tuesday speculating on the future of financial markets for the next few years, with some thought-provoking points for compliance officers mired in anti-money laundering compliance. First, Accenture estimates the overall cost of risk and compliance for the financial sector at roughly $96 billion annually, and the cost of AML compliance specifically…

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Oh Lord, Michael Cohen Risk Is Now a Thing


The lawyer for Stormy Daniels dropped yet another eye-popping allegation Tuesday afternoon: that some of the biggest names in Corporate America gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Michael Cohen via the same shell company he used to give Daniels $130,000 in hush money just before the 2016 election. That gasping sound you hear is…

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Report Flags ‘Derisking Risk’ in Banking Sector

A new report from the Government Accountability Office says tough AML compliance obligations are contributing to a “derisking” wave in banks along the U.S.-Mexico border, which are closing branches and filing far more suspicious activity reports than in other parts of the country. The report examined 406 banks across the United States, including 115 along…

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Calendar Alert: Compliance Roundtable in NYC

Special alert for compliance and audit executives in New York, fearful that your business is being targeted by money launderers and related thieves! An executive roundtable is happening next month to let you meet peers and talk about how you’re fighting the threat. The forum will happen on the morning of Wednesday, May 11, sponsored…

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