Top KYC and AML news of the week | 10 September — 17 September’21
Doing the bare minimum is no longer acceptable when it comes to anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) compliance. The global regulatory environment is evolving around governments implementing stricter AML laws, international regulators increasing enforcement actions, and new innovative technology that opens up opportunities for businesses, consumers, and criminals. Let’s have a look at what has been happening over this week.
New AML guide issued for the banking industry in UAE
The UAE authorities have launched several measures for banks to combat the illicit flow of money through the region. Banks will be required to develop internal procedures and put indicators to identify suspicious transactions and report them to the central bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit, the United Arab Emirates central bank said in a statement. They will also need to regularly screen their databases and transactions against names on lists issued by the United Nations Security Council or the UAE government before conducting deals or entering into a business relationship with individual and corporate clients.
Saudi Arabian gang imprisoned for laundering $4.5 billion
The authorities in Saudi Arabia have sentenced 24 people to 20 years in prison for laundering $4.5 billion. According to the Court of Appeal in Riyadh, the gang members — both Saudi nationals and expatriates — used factories, companies, and medical facilities as fronts for commercial activities. They were able to collect and deposit large sums of money before transferring the cash overseas. The sentencing of the gang comes amid the Kingdom’s ongoing drive to clamp down on money laundering and corruption.
Fraud and corruption news
CLSAP NZ fined for AML breaches
The New Zealand officials, Financial Market Authority (FMA) reported AML and CTF breaches in CLSA Premium New Zealand Limited’s operations. CLSAP has received a fine of $770,000 for failing to maintain its due diligence. According to reports, “CLSAP NZ admitted it failed to conduct enhanced customer due diligence concerning 12 transactions, failed to conduct due diligence concerning one customer, failed to terminate existing business relationships when customer due diligence could not be completed, failed to report suspicious transactions/activity on nine occasions, and failed to keep records as required under the AML/CFT Act.”
Indian watchdog warns about fraudulent KYC operators
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) warned people against KYC frauds, advising them not to share personal details with unidentified agencies. The RBI said it has been receiving complaints/reports about customers falling prey to KYC frauds in a release. Furthermore, these fraudsters have also been claimed to carry threats of account freeze, block, or closure. The central bank noted that fraudsters could access their accounts once they share information over call/message/unauthorised application.
KYC tech and trends
H1 2021 has seen a drop in Money Laundering fines but there is a catch
The first quarter of 2021 saw a drop in money laundering penalties by almost half of what figures were for the same period last year. The penalties for non-compliance with AML and KYC regulations were down 40%, to a global total of $930 million from January to June this year. These figures might astonish you, but the pandemic has a hand to play in it. Our current restrictive situation has limited investigations. As the pandemic eases, investigations will unfold all the hidden financial crimes and see an increase in penalties.
This week at Data Zoo
Podcast: Data Insider’s first episode talks about ‘The Shift of KYC to Identity of Things’
Our host, Leah Hu, talks about ‘The shift from KYC to Identity of Things (IDoT)’ with industry expert, Memoona J Anwar. The conversation delves into how digitalisation is creating a shift from traditional KYC identification to IDoT, the challenges that come with new technology, and explores what the future might look like.
Hear more and follow us!
Author Sara Singh Tak, Data Zoo Marketing Specialist
About Data Zoo
Data Zoo is setting the new standard for identity verification. With over a decade of experience, we have helped top global organisations reduce risk and verify their customers. Our innovative global solutions utilise independent; government, credit, utility, and commercial data sources to provide clients with industry-leading match rates and unparalleled response times.