Regulators and Enforcement Actions are driving the agenda
In a world of ever-increasing regulation, regulators globally continue to focus on financial crimes that include money laundering, terrorist financing, sanctions evasion, bribery and corruption, fraud, tax evasion and market abuse. Demonstrating that a financial institution or professional services company – whatever its size or scope – is working hard to meet its legal and regulatory financial crime obligations has become a compliance and commercial imperative.
Failure to meet financial crime obligations can result in severe penalties. Analysis for the past calendar year shows that in the UK, FCA fines have hit a record-breaking £560 million and in the US $3.9 billion worth of fines were levied by the SEC as of November for non-compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Know your Customer (KYC), and sanctions regulations, amongst other failings.
Some notable cases and fines include:
- The FCA pursued and won it’s first criminal action, resulting in a £264 million fine against NatWest Bank for money laundering failings between 8 November 2012 to 23 June 2016
- The FCA also fined HSBC £63.9 million for deficient transaction monitoring controls over a period of eight years from 31 March 2010 to 31 March 2018.
- The HKMA fined four major banks HK$44.2 million for violations of systems and controls required by the AMLO enactment of 2012
- The US SEC brought charges against a Global Crypto Lending Platform for $2 billion worth of fraud
- In Malaysia, a $698 million settlement was paid for Anti-Bribery and Corruption and AML failings committed by a government-run strategic development company