Money Laundering Bulletin

Changing prospects – the MLRO role

“No one wants to be the MLRO anymore. You work very hard to get to the top of the industry and when you’re there you can’t give the CF11 title away”...

Banks, Practice Findings, Africa, Europe, Middle East

Currency and capital flows: a Chinese trade

Public officials are caught directing state funds to their own accounts offshore while the Chinese government seeks to clamp down on corruption even as it strives to loosen control over the country’s currency. Gao Fu Mao, in Beijing, asks if the policy objectives are compatible with the containment of illicit capital.

Customer Due Diligence, Bribery and Corruption, PEPs, Practice Findings, Asia-Pacific

UK government launches anti-corruption strategy

The British government has announced its long awaited anti-corruption strategy, issuing a paper detailing a comprehensive list of reforms, including significant anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-fraud components.

Money Laundering, Customer Due Diligence, Reporting, Tracing and Recovery, Law Enforcement, Bribery and Corruption, Financial Intelligence Units, Government and International Bodies, Europe

EU agrees to central registers of beneficial owners

The ultimate beneficial owners of companies and trusts will be recorded in central registers maintained by EU member states after EU Council and Parliament representatives finalised the draft text of the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive late on 16 December 2014.

Customer Due Diligence, Government and International Bodies, Legislation & Guidance, Europe, Corporate Vehicles

UK SARs total grows 12% but not evenly

The UK Financial Intelligence Unit received 354,186 suspicious activity reports (SARs) in the year to September 2014, an 11.90% rise on the 316,527 filed in 2012/13.

Terrorist Financing, Reporting, Law Enforcement, Banks, Lawyers, Money Service Businesses, Trust and Company Service Providers, Estate Agents, Financial Intelligence Units, Europe
Risks and Controls

Take ‘em out – AML goes into attack

“I don’t buy a burglar alarm to tell me I’ve been robbed”: Darren Innes, CEO of C6 Intelligence Group, independent risk data intelligence specialists, is in indignant mood when MLB visits...

Money Laundering, Monitoring, Payments, Predicate Crimes, Banks

The Chinese way – via Macau and Hong Kong

China’s full-scale anti-corruption drive is having measurable impact on the casino economy of Macau, and Hong Kong, too, may feel the dragon’s breath. Jens Kastner reports.

Bribery and Corruption, PEPs, Trade Finance, Casinos, Practice Findings, Asia-Pacific
Money Laundering

Out front in West Africa – Ghana

Four years ago Ghana was far off the anti-money laundering pace but it has staged a remarkable recovery as Jonathan Dyson reports.

Reporting, Financial Intelligence Units, Government and International Bodies, Legislation & Guidance, Practice Findings, Supervisors, Africa

One basket for the rotten eggs

Expansion and overlap of financial crime risks is driving integration of teams and systems as firms seek to improve their response and contain costs. Mark Dunn examines the trend.

Customer Due Diligence, Bribery and Corruption, Legislation & Guidance, Practice Findings, Supervisors, Europe, Corporate Vehicles

US extends scrutiny of Standard Chartered sanctions compliance

Standard Chartered Bank will undergo monitoring of its sanctions compliance programme for an additional three years, to 10 December 2017, following extension of two-year deferred prosecution agreements with the US Department of Justice and the New York County District Attorney’s Office that expired today [10 December 2014].

Sanctions, Banks, Cases, Practice Findings, North America

Bedtime stories for bankers

Internationally-agreed documents often read as unsatisfactory high-level compromise but the Financial Action Task Force guidance on application of a risk-based approach for the banking sector both manages to offer direction and, on occasion, even surprise, Sue Grossey finds.

Banks, Government and International Bodies, Legislation & Guidance
Terrorist Financing

FATF sets Iran February deadline for terrorist finance law

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has warned Iran it faces tighter international scrutiny of its financial services and dealings, should it fail to criminalise terrorist financing and boost its suspicious transaction reporting (STR) requirements.

Terrorist Financing, Government and International Bodies, Practice Findings

Getting their hands dirty – the illegal charcoal trade

The demand for charcoal in Africa has never been higher, while weak or absent controls over production and export make it an irresistible and lucrative source of funds for terrorists, armed political factions and criminals alike. David Carlisle investigates the scale of illegal deforestation, who is responsible and countermeasures that might prove effective.

Terrorist Financing, Typologies, Predicate Crimes, Government and International Bodies, Africa, Middle East
Legal / Regulatory

Fourth EU Directive text almost set

The European Union is close to final agreement on the Fourth Money Laundering Directive, according to a release from the Council Presidency on 2 December.

Government and International Bodies, Legislation & Guidance, Europe

Yet to explode – non-proliferation compliance

Quietly ticking in the corner, the control of proliferation finance may not be at the top of every risk register but with international standards in place it cannot be disregarded, says Paul Cochrane.

Government and International Bodies, Practice Findings, Proliferation Finance

Assured performance – testing the technology

If it is necessary to implement transaction monitoring and sanctions screening systems, it is no longer sufficient without understanding how they work and how effective they are. Kitty So talks to leading testing service providers.

Sanctions, Monitoring, Technology, Practice Findings

No better – UK regulator reports on small banks’ controls

MLROs at a quarter of small banks had a “detrimental effect” on AML and sanctions systems and controls, the Financial Conduct Authority reports from its latest thematic review. Other findings, if not quite so dramatically negative, are“disappointing” – a favoured regulator euphemism – Timon Molloy discovers.

Sanctions, Monitoring, Training, Payments, Banks, Practice Findings, Supervisors, Europe