The COVID-19 pandemic has not released financial institutions from their obligations to deal with money-laundering and terrorist-financing risks within their operations. In mid-April, the US FFIEC released its updated BSA/AML Examination Manual, geared for examiners who are assessing a bank’s compliance. Even though the Manual was not written directly for them, banks would be wise to familiarize themselves with its standards and requirements to ensure they are up to speed.
Financial institutions spearhead a variety of activities, from approving college loans to setting up retirement funds, but they also play an important role in bringing terrorists to justice. By partnering with law enforcement, FIs are able to complete the puzzle by exchanging information on terrorism-financing-related transactions. These public/private partnerships are countering terrorist activities effectively, especially in the UK and the US, and creating CTF models for other countries to follow.
Money-laundering activities should have received a fatal blow from the scandals revealed in such documents as the Panama Papers, but recent events paint a different picture: the offshore finance industry and money laundering continue to be alive and well! Financial institutions that find AML compliance an escalating struggle are not alone, but the costs of non-compliance are even more taxing. It’s past time for banks to take a closer look at their client portfolios.
Blockchain, Regulation and Privacy: The ramifications of using blockchain and supporting crypto-currencies within financial organizations
Blockchain—a cryptographic, decentralized distributed ledger system—is gaining acceptance and prestige as its multiple advantages, such as immutability, become clear, even to normally cautious financial organisations. But it isn’t all smooth sailing. Especially in Europe, some of the new data and privacy regulations clash head-on with blockchain and its attendant crypto-currencies. Can the technology overcome these hurdles and continue on its path toward broad, industry-wide adoption?