Less than 10 percent of banks have joined their efforts to fight fraud and money laundering despite calls by the U.S. financial intelligence unit to do so, according to an upcoming report.
Banks have various levels of satisfaction with their transaction monitoring systems and rely on employee referrals for the best indications of suspicious activity, according to a U.S. Treasury Department report.
Banks that merge or consolidate risk regulatory reprimands if they choose to scale back their anti-money laundering protections in the process, say consultants.
Experienced chief compliance officers, reluctant to cut any corners with their AML programs but under pressure to contain costs, are looking for synergies with other departments in their financial institutions.
Banks seeking to acquire other financial institutions must carefully absorb, analyze and monitor the customer information and transaction history of its target not only to ensure it is paying a fair price but also to protect itself against possible regulatory trouble down the road.
Lisa Arquette, associate director of the FDIC's Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Branch, says examiners are conducting fewer risk assessments as more banks prepare their own.