AML Headlines Recap – 24/06/20

Here’s some of the most interesting AML cases and related news headlines from around the globe over the last week!

Medlemsbank (SWE) fined for AML failings

Finansinspektionen (the Swedish regulator) has investigated JAK Medlemsbank ‘s compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act (2017) and Finansinspektionen’s regulations (FFFS 2017) regarding measures against money laundering and terrorist financing with regard to the rules on general risk assessment and customer due diligence. 

Finansinspektionen’s investigation shows that there have been significant deficiencies in JAK’s compliance with the regulatory framework.  

The bank has also violated several of the provisions of the anti-money laundering regulatory framework related to customer due diligence measures and has not stored its customer due diligence records in accordance with the regulatory framework, resulting in a warning from the regulator and a 1.6 million SEK fine. 

FCA (UK) reminds cryptoasset businesses to register before the end of June 

To ensure that applications are processed on time the FCA requires firms to submit completed applications for registration by 30 June 2020. 

In 2020 the FCA became the AML/CTF supervisor of businesses carrying out certain cryptoasset activities. 

Any businesses that started carrying on business in the UK immediately before 10 January 2020 and are not registered by the FCA by the 10 January 2021 deadline will have to cease carrying on business. 

SFC (HK) reprimands and fines Guotai Junan Securities

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has reprimanded and fined Guotai Junan Securities $25.2 million for multiple internal control failures and regulatory breaches. This is in connection with anti-money laundering, handling of third party fund transfers and placing activities. 

The investigation found between March 2014 and March 2015, that Guotai Junan failed to take reasonable measures to ensure that proper safeguards were put in place to mitigate ML/FT risk when processing 15,584 third party deposits or withdrawals for its clients, totalling approximately $37.5 billion. 

FCA (UK) Fines Commerzbank AG London Branch £37,805,400 for AML Failures

The FCA raised specific concerns about the failings in 2012, 2015 and 2017. Commerzbank London has now been fined £37,805,400 for failing to take reasonable and effective steps to fix them. 

These weaknesses persisted while the FCA was publishing guidance on steps firms could take to reduce financial crime risk as well as taking enforcement action against several firms in relation to AML controls. 

FCA Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, Mark Steward, said: 

‘Commerzbank London’s failings over several years created a significant risk that financial and other crime might be undetected. Firms should recognise that AML controls are vitally important to the integrity of the UK financial system.’ 

NZ Police restrains $140 million in international investigation

The Asset Recovery Unit has, in the last 11 months, put a block on a total of $165.4 million in cash and bank accounts. They have also blocked nearly $63 million worth of assets and property. 

Canton and its owner, Alexander Vinnik, previously operated the cryptocurrency exchange ‘BTC-e.’  

It is alleged that BTC-e, which operated from the United States, had no anti-money laundering controls and policies in place. This is the largest such action in NZ police history. 

At InScope we can assist you with your regulatory reporting, CDD and AML obligations. Contact us today to find out more!

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