To stay in compliance with rapidly expanding international, federal, and local anti-money laundering (AML) regulations and avoid what can be career- and business-ending consequences, companies face the seemingly Herculean task of investigating every suspicious financial transaction, which can number in the tens of thousands every single month.
In the month since FINRA announced total of $17 million in fines against financial adviser Raymond James and its financial services affiliate, two threads have circulated through social media. The first took note that broker-dealers were now squarely in the enforcement sights of regulators. The second focused on the piercing of the corporate veil and the penalties administered to James’ former AML Compliance officer.
According to the latest evidence, The US Treasury estimates that over $300 billion in money laundering flows through casinos annually. The two leading sources of funds, fraud or drug trafficking, account for just over $64 billion alone. Recently, officials at the federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) – the agency responsible for monitoring casino operator compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970- have stepped up their AML compliance rhetoric and activity. And they’re not alone.
Occasioned by the announcement of a consent order with Florida bank Gibraltar Private Bank and Trust, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (or, OCC) announced two significant updates to its policies and procedures for calculating civil money penalties for non-compliance or persistent, uncorrected BSA/AML compliance. The OCC took the opportunity to call-out failures in the Gibraltar response to earlier orders - setting clearly tougher expectations for under-performing or unresponsive compliance programs.
My last two posts highlighted both a recent change and a long-standing challenge. That no fewer than ten thousand Investment advisory firms face AML regulation – where the costs of compliance have increased by more than 50% over the last three years – suggests the potential for a messy regulatory train-wreck. Why are costs spiraling out-of
Between 2011 and 2014, banking respondents to KPMG’s Global Anti-Money Laundering Survey reported an average increase in AML compliance costs of 53%. That average exceeded both their 2011 prediction (40%) and the previous (2007-2011) average of 45%. In seven years, institutions seem to have made very modest headway in cost-efficiently complying with regulatory changes. Are there reasons and solutions?
SEC-registered investment advisors would have to comply
Banks, mutual fund, insurance and security dealers share an affirmative obligation to comply with anti-laundering regulations by identifying their customers and reporting significant (over $10,000) transactions.