Tough start to 2015 by US regulators

January 2015 has seen a flurry of activity in the US in terms of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) have all contributed to the ongoing dialogues on de-risking and tougher regulations.

De-risking focus
On 28 January, the FDIC released a statement encouraging financial institutions to take a risk-based approach in assessing all individual customer relationships rather than de-risking, or declining to provide services to entire categories of customers.

The statement said that institutions could be referred to the FDIC’s Ombudsman or Office of Inspector General if they fail to follow these principles.

Oppenheimer penalties
On 27 January, 2015, FinCEN and the SEC settled parallel enforcement actions for a total of US$20 million in civil penalties against Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., a full-service broker-dealer, for violations of the BSA and federal securities laws

The two actions are the latest in a series of actions against Oppenheimer for AML shortcomings, the most recent being the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s August 2013 action against the company for substantially similar conduct.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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