FCA focuses on AML and sanctions regimes at smaller banks

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published the results of its recent thematic review, which looked at the responses of smaller banks to the authorities 2011 Anti Money Laundering (AML) Review.

In its latest review, the FCA has identified, “significant and widespread weaknesses in key AML controls” amongst smaller banks and expressed particular concerns over AML operations in smaller overseas banks.

Overall concerns
Across the smaller banks reviewed by the FCA, the authority has raised concerns in relation to both business and customer level AML risk assessments.

It has also expressed concerns over an apparent lack of enhanced due diligence and ongoing monitoring of high risk accounts and relationships.

Overseas banks
For overseas banks operating on a small scale in the UK, the FCA says that people charged with oversight of the UK compliance functions are often staff on short-term assignments from the overseas parent bank.

The UK AML compliance requirements are often more stringent than their overseas equivalents and the FCA has highlighted examples of compliance officers brought in through such assignments.

The authority says they have failed to understand the nuances and requirements of the UK AML and sanctions regime, instead relying upon the policies of the overseas parent.

For further details see: http://www.fca.org.uk/your-fca/documents/thematic-reviews/tr14-16

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