The U.S. Treasury Department finalized its long-awaited customer due diligence rule Friday shortly after the introduction by the White House of a bevy of corporate transparency-related measures.
The leak of millions of records purporting to show widespread exploitation of offshore financial centers by global leaders, lenders and criminals is expected to draw governmental scrutiny of illicit finance, however unevenly.
The United States is the one of the least financially transparent nations in the globe, and the most worrisome jurisdiction for corporate secrecy issues, a London-based advocacy group said Monday.
Draft U.S. Treasury Department rules on customer due diligence requirements for financial institutions would not prevent criminals from exploiting shell companies, according to Elise Bean, former staff director and chief counsel of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
This time last December, one might reasonably have expected that 2014 would be a year of modest changes for the anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance sector. Then came JPMorgan Chase, BNP Paribas and a convoy of Russian tanks to quash that notion.
Factions within the European Union reached a compromise Tuesday on the terms of the long-awaited Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, including provisions to create central registers on the ultimate beneficial owners of corporate and other legal entities, as well as trusts in every member state.
On the eve of key behind-the-scenes talks on the Fourth European Union Anti-Money Laundering Directive, the rift over proposals for the public register of trusts has widened between the United Kingdom and Europe.
A U.S. Treasury Department proposal that asks banks to identify corporate owners could also end up shining a light on the often murky hedge fund sector, say attorneys.
U.S. officials will formally propose this month a long-planned rule that would require banks to identify the owners of their corporate clients, according to an Office of Management and Budget schedule.
European Union nations may still have to name the owners of corporations but they won't necessarily do so publicly, under the economic bloc's latest iteration of an anti-money laundering proposal.
Even with the parliamentary passage of the EU's anti-money laundering directive last month, tough debates lie ahead for the economic bloc's plans to better identify financial criminals, say observers.
British officials are set to propose legislation that would require private corporations and limited liability partnerships to publicly disclose their individual owners, a U.K. minister said Monday.
A group of European Parliament members will soon weigh in on whether lawmakers should create an EU-wide police force and more closely cooperate on border security to stem financial crime, according to Bill Newton Dunn, a British lawmaker.
The U.S. Treasury Department has picked replacements for two recently vacated senior-level positions involved with the drafting of economic sanctions and anti-money laundering policies, according to an official.
Penny stock fraud and soon-to-be introduced customer due diligence regulations should be foremost on the minds of compliance officers at small securities firms, believes Kenneth Cherrier, senior vice president and chief supervisory officer at Overland, KS-based Waddell & Reed, Inc.
A "quantum leap" in efforts to improve global financial transparency, including the passage of a U.S. anti-tax evasion law, has mitigated the compliance risks of offshore banking centers in recent years, says Martin Livingston, a partner at the Cayman Islands branch of law firm Maples and Calder.
For many anti-money laundering and sanctions professionals, 2012 will be remembered as a year of record fines. Banks paid billions to settle AML and sanctions compliance violations, with one penalty alone reaching almost $2 billion.
A U.S. Treasury Department proposal to toughen customer due diligence obligations for banks would increase compliance costs while providing only minimal benefit to law enforcement, according to industry comment letters.
Compliance with beneficial ownership standards will be one of the top priorities for Financial Action Task Force examiners during the group's next round of jurisdictional reviews, a U.S. official said Tuesday.
The U.S. Treasury Department said Wednesday that it was considering imposing customer due diligence currently applied to private banking and correspondent accounts to all accountholders at depository institutions.