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.
Cash-strapped banks facing federal mandates to hire outside consultants to improve their compliance programs are increasingly seeking lower bids from anti-money laundering consultants to get the work done cheaply, say compliance professionals.
Swiss bank UBS faces its second civil lawsuit in five months for allegedly processing transactions tied to Middle Eastern terrorist organizations. Plaintiffs in the suit say the bank should pay no less than $500 million for providing financial services to Iran, a "state sponsor of terrorism"
These transactional reviews, which rely on historical and potentially stale data, have little usefulness for regulators seeking to identify laundering, says New York-based consultant John MacKessy.
The widow of slain journalist Daniel Pearl sued the bank, claiming it knowingly maintained accounts for two organizations tied by the U.S. Treasury Department to Pearl's 2002 kidnapping and murder.
United Roosevelt Savings Bank and Eurobank, in cease and desist orders issued Tuesday, were instructed to look for transactions that should have triggered currency transaction reports or suspicious activity reports. Both were cited for other deficiencies in their anti-money laundering programs.
A tiny Dover, New Jersey, credit must improve nearly every aspect of its anti-money laundering compliance program and undertake a potentially expensive look-back of the identities of its member base for the past seven years, according to a National Credit Union Administration order released Tuesday.
Account history reviews are often expensive but their lengths can be negotiated, according to KPMG Forensic principal Darren Donovan.
Banco de la Nación Argentina must correct AML deficiencies at its New York branch, mainly in transaction monitoring.
The federal regulator told Commerce Bank/Harrisburg National Association that it must scrutinize its software vendors and consultants more closely for Bank Secrecy Act compliance, a demand that indicates financial institutions can't shirk their responsibilities by outsourcing them.
The Federal Reserve and New York State Banking Department entered into a written agreement with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. on Wednesday ordering its New York branch to improve Bank Secrecy Act compliance deficiencies a month after another Japanese bank was cited for risk management deficiencies.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the New York State Banking Department reprimanded the Bank of Tokyo's Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Company on Monday for "unsafe and unsound" practices in its New York branch.