Fines Tied to AML Bank Compliance Fell 90 Percent in 2009 in a Year of Record Sanctions Penalties

By Brian Monroe and Colby Adams

The total regulatory fines issued by the United States against financial institutions for anti-money laundering compliance problems fell by 90 percent in 2009 from the total levied in 2008, according to data. The drop in monetary penalties, from roughly $55 million in 2008 to $5 million in 2009, came as the total number of federal anti-money laundering (AML) enforcement actions rose slightly, from 51 issued in 2008 to 53 issued last year. The 2009 dollar amounts were over 92 percent lower than the $66.5 million in penalties levied for AML problems in 2007, when regulators issued a total of...