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 open up opportunities for businesses, consumers, and criminals. Let’s have a look at what has been happening over this week.
Fraud and corruption news:
US$2.5 million fine imposed on TBS Bank NZ for AML failure
The TSB Bank’s breach is New Zealand’s first civil proceedings taken by the central bank under the AML/CTF Act. New Zealand’s High Court has imposed a penalty of NZD 3.5 million (US$2.5 million) on TSB Bank for its failure to comply with AML/CFT requirements. Reserve Bank of New Zealand deputy governor Geoff Bascand second the decision, saying the penalty reflects TSB’s ongoing non-compliance with AML/CFT requirements despite a formal warning issued to the bank TSB in 2016.
Axis Bank India fined for non-compliance with KYC norms
A fine of INR 25 lakh (USD 34,232) is imposed on Axis Bank by India’s financial watchdog, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), for violation of KYC regulations. The bank neglected its ongoing customer due diligence by not perform proper identity verifications and assessing their customer’s risk levels. In a statement, the RBI said, “the action is based on the deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.”
HK Customs sized HK$170 million for money laundering
Customer officials in Hong Kong have arrested five men suspected of laundering about HK$170million (US$21.8million). In the first case, customs detected an attempt to smuggle money out of the territory by driving over the border. One of the drivers was also suspected of providing false information when making a declaration. Furthermore, it is supposed that the two persons dealt with the movement of the money. In addition, Customs has seized several mobile phones and over HK$300,000 in cash from the residential premises and money changer involved in the case. A total of about HK$580,000 of assets held by two of the cross-boundary vehicle drivers have also been frozen.
US$5.7 million issued in fine to Malta bank for AML breaches
Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) has fined Pilatus Bank $5.7 million for several AML/CTF regulations breaches. The bank lacked strict measures of customer due diligence and dealt with several high-risk clients and businesses without the proper measures. FIAU said that Pilatus exposed itself and Malta to “egregious money laundering risks that were not mitigated in any manner”. They added, “The committee ascertained that the bank’s systemic failures in the implementation of AML/CFT controls, measures and processes has greatly exacerbated the risks of its being used and abused by money launderers to process illicit proceeds through the bank.”
KYC tech and trends:
Why Watchdogs Are Not Promoting Crypto Adoption
Despite the positivity surrounding cryptocurrencies, watchdogs are still refraining from promoting them. The reasons behind this are, crypto is still in an infancy stage compared to gold and stocks; the industry is highly volatile along with rising crypto crimes. Until such issues are addressed and tackled, watchdogs will remain on the sidelines. But the industry is very dynamic; time can change the landscape of crypto very soon.
This week at Data Zoo:
Your Guide to Ongoing Customer Due Diligence
Ongoing due diligence is becoming a norm for most businesses to identify and access their customer’s risk levels. This ongoing process gives a detailed description of whom the business is dealing with, are the customer high-risk individuals, and can indicate if dealing with any individual can be of risk to the business.
Are you proactive with your customer due diligence?
Learn how to verify a German Citizen
Europe’s leading exporter, Germany, is expected to see a rise of 2% in their H2 economy with a rebound in global demand. Businesses will see a surge in monetary and digital growth, making it imperative to secure them against the various risks.
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.