It’s not easy to be stuck in the middle, a position that banks inhabit as they process the financial activities of others. Most transactions passing through their systems are honest, but some are illicit, often involving money laundering. Are banks innocent victims of criminals who exploit their processes or knowing participants in crimes? The case has not been tried, but public sentiment leans toward the latter. Can banks come clean?
An Updated Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Examination Manual and the Implications for Your Financial Institution: Additional Guidance, or New Areas of Regulatory Risk?
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.
The European Union has put up a brave front against financial crimes such as money laundering, but the criminals still manage to get away with a way too much ill-gotten gain. Progress is being made with the new AMLD5 framework, but much more needs to be done to achieve resounding success. What are some of the steps the EU should take to finally grab this brazen bull by its horns?
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.