Correction Appended Anti-money laundering compliance professionals view 2007 as a year when actions by U.S. lawmakers, regulators and law enforcement raised as many questions as they answered. Regulators spent less face time than in the past addressing AML concerns as the lion's share of regulatory attention was devoted to subprime lending standards and the broader credit crisis. But, when financial regulators and the U.S. Department of Justice weighed in, they did so heavily, assessing the largest penalty against a U.S. institution and seeking, in a yet-to-be-resolved criminal case, the largest penalties ever for anti-money laundering violations. "2007 was really a...
The new year won't be any easier on compliance officials at banks and money services businesses, and could get much harder depending on how U.S. officials implement new and proposed regulations, according to industry leaders.
Bank closings and enforcement actions for capital requirement and credit risk violations didn't preclude law enforcement and regulatory officials from pursuing banks for violating U.S. and international sanctions in 2009 or from leaning on financial institutions to catch tax cheats.
Twenty-five banks failed in 2008, including Seattle-based Washington Mutual, the largest bank to fail in U.S. history. With less resources and with regulators focused on credit markets and capital requirements, compliance officers faced a whole new set of regulatory challenges.
U.S. Representative Barney Frank said he will continue to push for easing the burden of Bank Secrecy Act compliance for financial institutions this year as the House Financial Services Committee turns its attention toward the widening U.S. mortgage and credit crises.