Despite tightened controls on interbank messaging, some bankers looking to hide the role of their blacklisted clients in international wires need only type a single key on their keyboard, according to experts.
The EU is pushing the United States for answers following reports that the National Security Agency siphoned bank messaging data held in the European Union, possibly in violation of a July 2010 treaty.
Ongoing negotiations between the United States and European Union on a broad data-sharing arrangement will likely be complicated following the leaked disclosure this month of a transnational American surveillance program.
The government of Iran and banks under its influence are increasingly using investments in foreign financial institutions as a means to circumvent sanctions, including restrictions on interbank messages, say sources.
In a congressional hearing last May, sanctions experts outlined how gaps in U.S. and EU blacklists could let designated Iranians and other designees exploit the American banking system. But the witnesses failed to point out one important loophole in international sanctions: interbank cover payments.
Representatives of the world's primary financial messaging platform are lobbying U.S. lawmakers to abstain from blacklisting additional Iranian banks in future and pending legislation, say congressional sources.
Proposals to bar Iranian financial institutions from a global interbank messaging service would impose additional costs on Iran's banks without entirely blocking them from accessing Western financial institutions.
The National Futures Association handed out three separate fines to entities and individuals over AML violations, four Vatican priests have been charged with laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars, and more, in this week's roundup.
The disclosure that U.S. officials have solicited and directly received data from foreign banks on transactions tied to Iran is spurring talks among European lawmakers, according to Alexander Alvaro, an EU Parliament supervisor.
The United States and European Union tentatively agreed Monday to a plan allowing the sharing of interbank messaging data as part of investigations into terrorism.
The European Union and the United States move ahead with negotiations over Swift interbank data and a New York court sentences an alleged terrorist financier to ten years in prison, in this week's news roundup.
The European Commission proposed Wednesday a data sharing agreement that would grant European Union investigators access to information on U.S. bank accounts in cases of suspected terrorist ties.
The rejection by the EU Parliament Thursday of a data sharing agreement with the United States is likely to leave U.S. investigators without timely access to European banking data for the second month in a row.
A client of UBS AG pleads guilty to tax evasion as a longstanding data sharing arrangement between the United States and the European Union is poised to collapse, in this week's news roundup.
An interim agreement allowing U.S. investigators continued access to European financial data in terrorism cases will likely be ratified in February by a skeptical EU Parliament, according to EU officials.
The EU Council passed a controversial agreement Monday to extend the access of U.S. counterterrorism investigators to European financial data by another nine months.
European Union plans to extend a bank data sharing program with U.S. anti-terrorist investigators are likely to face little opposition over privacy concerns, in part because of the efficacy of the program, according to a European official.
European Union justice ministers agreed Friday on guidelines for the sharing of personal data among law enforcement agencies and European courts, giving European citizens greater assurances of privacy in terrorism and criminal cases.
Because data protection laws in Europe and elsewhere make it difficult for a multinational financial institution to share data among all of its branches, the laws "will be the biggest impediment to protection from terrorism," the officials said.
The Bush administration suffered a setback Friday when a federal judge rejected its effort to block a civil lawsuit against an international banking consortium that provides the administration with data for terrorist investigations.