Skip to content

September 2020 Anti-Money laundering news highlights

State of the street

OPINION:  On 16 September 2020, AUSTRAC issued a media release informing of the infringement notice that they issued to the State Street Bank and Trust Company, resulting from its failure to send 99 International Funds Transfer Instruction (IFTI) reports to AUSTRAC within 10 business days, in contravention with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act).

This resulted in a fine of over $1.24m and highlights the importance AUSTRAC places on IFTI reporting, which provides vital intelligence on international criminal syndicates sending and receiving funds out of and into Australia.

AUSTRAC state that it is now working closely with State Street to improve their IFTI reporting systems and controls.  To read the full media release from AUSTRAC, click here.

Financial Conduct Authority drops 50% of criminal probes into money laundering breaches

OPINION:  On 14 September 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which regulates over  60,000 UK businesses that are subject to anti-money laundering and terrorism financing laws announced that they have discontinue half of its unlawful investigations into breaches of money laundering laws.  

So what are the implications of this?

The message this sends to the regulated entities is likely to drive the wrong behaviour and lead to further excuses not to comply with the AML/CTF laws.  Clearly,the FCA had identified breaches and violations of the AML rules but in dropping 50% of these cases it means that those companies and individuals that breached the laws in the first place, will face no further consequences.  This drives apathy among many regulated professions, who simply now have the message that there are unlikely to be consequences.

If the FCA just focus on major compliance breaches such as those imposed on Standard Chartered Bank (GBP102m fine) or Commerzbank (GBP38m fine) then the thousands of small to medium sized-entities, may become even more complacent than many already seem to be as the FCA has signalled that their focus is only at the big-end of town, exposing many smaller UK businesses to exploitation by organised criminal networks.
To learn more, click here.

Crown of thorns

OPINION:  It seems that former Crown Resorts Executive Chairman John Alexander may have overplayed his cards, when he claimed that industry AML expert Neil Jeans, principal of Initialism had said the casino group were a “completely compliant, gold star customer” for the quality of their AML/CTF Program.  Earlier this week, Neil Jeans fronted the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority’s inquiry and corrected this saying that Mr Alexander’s comments were “not an accurate statement” and did not reflect the comments he  presented to the Crown Resorts risk management committee or Board. (Read more…)

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for a daily dose of financial crime news across the globe.

Posted in , ,