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.
The Top Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions-Compliance Challenges for Financial Institutions in 2018 and Beyond
The penalties for not complying with ever-evolving anti-money laundering and sanctions regulations are steep and have caught the attention of bank boards and senior management, already besieged by an assortment of other competing challenges. AlixPartners surveyed a variety of institutions to uncover the top AML and sanctions-compliance concerns that financial firms must address, and to discover some of the solutions they are implementing.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, particularly in the sphere of AML-compliance in the banking industry. Yes, it is costly to establish an effective AML-control structure, but non-compliance costs can be much more taxing—so how do financial firms institute cultures of compliance throughout their operations that ultimately minimize risks to all parties involved and increase enterprise value?
Banks and other financial institutions entered 2017 facing an increasingly daunting framework of anti-money-laundering (AML) laws and regulations. During the past several years, regulatory agencies have been aggressively stepping up their enforcement actions, and they’ve levied huge fines for compliance failures.
Anti-Money Laundering and Office of Foreign Assets Control Compliance—the Rise of Individual Accountability
With the US Department of Justice’s recent announcement that it plans to step up enforcement actions, financial institutions’ board members and senior managers may face increased scrutiny.
In recent years, U.S. authorities have increased their scrutiny of financial institutions’ anti-money laundering controls. In light of this development, banks and other institutions have begun to reassess perceived or actual AML risk across their operation.
In the past several years, the volume and monetary value of enforcement actions by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) seem to have risen dramatically. In fact, civil penalties and settlements have grown from several million dollars in 2008 to billions of dollars in 2014.
Over the last decade, the business environment for financial institutions globally has undergone significant changes. However, anti-money laundering (AML) compliance has been well represented both in headlines as well as on agendas of board of directors over that time.