U.S. financial institutions are still struggling to detect and properly monitor foreign banks and clients for whom they process correspondent transactions nearly a decade after more stringent rules governing such relationships took effect, according to a federal regulator.
Ukraine's widespread protests and weakened political stability are likely to prompt nervous investors and corrupt officials alike to move their money abroad, say economic analysts.
Two lobbying groups are asking the U.S. Treasury Department to amend proposals that would require banks to close accounts and maintain additional records for three companies accused of aiding terrorists and money launderers.
A recent spate of compliance fines and U.S. investigations has imposed renewed pressure on British banks to improve their anti-money laundering and sanctions programs, say industry sources.
In the wake of a high-profile congressional hearing, more than a dozen large financial institutions have amended how they share information with affiliate institutions in bank secrecy havens, say compliance professionals.
The U.S. Treasury Department doesn't expect financial institutions to treat the 28 countries blacklisted by an intergovernmental group last month for weak anti-money laundering controls as non-cooperating nations under U.S. Patriot Act rules.
The Caribbean nation of Aruba is set to impose a raft of new anti-money laundering rules in an attempt to stave off the island's inclusion on an international blacklist that could be released next month.
A federal court's dismissal of a two-year old lawsuit against five Lebanese banks for allegedly providing financial services to Hizbollah could impact lawsuits against other banks facing similar cases.
U.S. federal and state regulators told French bank Societe Generale to strengthen the anti-money laundering controls of its New York branch, including its dollar-clearing operations.
Financial institutions adjusted well to August 2007 requirements that they scrutinize some correspondent relationships, according to a study by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Devaluations of several of the world's top currencies in the past six months, some by nearly 30 percent, are prompting criminals to shift their assets into U.S. dollars, say analysts.
The Federal Depositors Insurance Corp. issued cease-and-desist orders against two banks in November over lax due diligence in their anti-money laundering programs, the agency said Monday.
Companies that only transfer funds to buy or sell currencies and commodities are not money transmitters subjected to the Bank Secrecy Act, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Wednesday.
As the nexus between terrorist financing and drug trafficking widens, financial institutions will have to more closely scrutinize their correspondent banking relationships, say consultants.
As any compliance officer knows, vetting a banking correspondent relationship is no simple matter. Initial evaluations of another institution's anti-money laundering program can be long, the cost high and reviews perpetual. Three consultants talk about best practices in correspondent banking.
The U.S. Treasury Department issued guidance on the obligations of casinos under the Bank Secrecy Act, including procedures for filing currency transaction reports when the business lacks complete information on customers.
Banking compliance officers don't have clear guidelines for defining correspondent relationships, and consequently meet their AML due diligence duties. Some institutions set narrow limits while others cast their net wide.
Executing dealers that conduct transactions for prime brokerage clients in over-the-counter foreign exchange and derivatives markets are not required to apply federal due diligence rules for correspondent accounts to those relationships, FinCEN said in Guidance issued Wednesday.
The new rules require financial institutions to obtain "reasonably available" information about the anti-money laundering records of certain foreign correspondent banks.
A financial institution should ask for a written request from any law enforcement agency that asks it to keep an account open, according to the U.S. Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.