Federal regulators of anti-money laundering rules issued 16 percent more enforcement actions in 2015 than in the previous year, a jump due in part to an intensified focus on nonbank firms. Throughout the year, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), Federal Reserve and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) handed down 52 penalties to banks, money services businesses, casinos, precious metals dealers and others deemed to have violated anti-money laundering (AML) compliance. The annual total, which compares to 45 such actions in 2014, entailed roughly $400 million in purely AML-related civil monetary...
U.S. federal regulators issued significantly fewer enforcement actions in response to Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering program breaches in 2016 than the previous year, and fined only a quarter of the institutions they cited for such infractions.
An expected New York State regulatory proposal is likely to raise questions on how much senior bank executives can and should know about their anti-money laundering programs, according to compliance experts.
Sometimes a decline in bank enforcement actions isn't a good thing, even for bankers. Such is the takeaway of a review of enforcement action data spanning back five years, during which the number of formal Bank Secrecy Act penalties fell nearly 20 percent while fines and regulatory demands grew.
Fines and monetary settlements paid in 2012 by banks for anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing violations increased 131-fold from the previous year, ACAMS moneylaundering.com data shows.