Negative News Searching Isn’t Working (Part 2 of series)

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

Second in a series.  See part 1 here. Searching for negative news is among the most inefficient, inconsistent, and risky parts of AML. Whether new customer KYC, high-risk customer EDD, or suspicious activity investigations, negative news searching involves too many systems, too many manual steps, and too much likelihood something critical is missed. No wonder… Read more »

AML is Plagued by Inefficiency (Part 1 of series)

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

This is the first post in a series addressing inefficiencies in current AML processes and practical solutions to the most prevalent issues. I spend my days speaking with AML Officers, FIU Directors, and the investigators and analysts that spend their days completing EDD reviews, transaction monitoring analysis, and case investigations. I can distill those hundreds… Read more »

AML Programs for Broker-Dealers – SEC and FINRA say One Size Does Not Fit All

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

The SEC and FINRA announced that broker-dealer anti-money laundering (“AML”) programs continue to be a focus and priority for 2017. While most, if not all, broker-dealers likely have some form of AML program, this continued focus by the SEC and FINRA indicates that having just any program is not enough. Key Aspects for an AML… Read more »

AML Officers Gone Wild!

Posted by & filed under AML General.

Last week 11 individuals were charged with laundering more than $40 million in drug proceeds back to Mexico through Atlanta-area money remitters.  What makes this case unusual is that 6 of the 11 individuals were directly responsible for BSA/AML compliance. There has been a recent increase in personal liability enforcement actions against compliance officers for… Read more »

Is AML Efficiency Really Possible?

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

Never-ending monitoring alerts.  Flipping from system to system to find customer information, transaction details, and negative news.  Documenting searches and investigation reports.  SAR filings.  Model validation.  Annual risk assessments.  Hiring new analysts to replace the ones that jumped to another bank for more money.  Audit one month, regulatory examination the next.   Constantly shifting priorities. This… Read more »

Missing the Best Clue in AML – Effective Negative News Monitoring

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

Experienced AML professionals know that negative news is the most useful source to uncover risk. Transaction activity alone does not tell the whole story; negative news completes the picture.   Yet financial institutions direct enormous time, money, and people to transaction monitoring, while allocating a small fraction of attention to negative news. Why take such… Read more »

Six Considerations when Investigating Foreign Correspondent Banking Clients

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News, Research & Investigation.

correspondent banking investigation

It is well known that correspondent banking relationships result in heightened money laundering and terrorist financing risks, and deficiencies in AML programs relating to correspondent banking clients have led to billions of dollars in regulatory fines. While there is a multitude of literature and commentary on the AML risks and challenges associated with foreign correspondent… Read more »

AML Is Old – Are You?

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

Many of us in AML are old.  Old enough to say things to our teenagers and college aged kids like, “When I was your age they played videos on MTV,” and, “What are you talking about, ‘The Safety Dance’ is a great song.” Turns out today’s generation may fail to see the appeal of hair… Read more »

Terrorism Links in UK Customer Populations

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News, Research & Investigation.

It has recently been reported that a leaked draft document from HSBC’s monitor identified 13 British customers linked to Islamic terrorist groups in Syria.  While it is impossible to make any determination on HSBC’s AML policy without the full details of the report, this leak highlights a challenging topic for all banks. There is no… Read more »

The False Hope of Artificial Intelligence and AML Compliance

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

Artificial Intelligence or “AI” is the new buzzword in Anti-Money Laundering.  Nervous? Recent AML news would have you believe we’re on the cusp of dramatic change that will wipe out thousands of compliance jobs.  AI will then transform those few remaining workers into Arnold-like Model T-101 Terminators annihilating alerts, cases, and SARs with emotionless robot-like… Read more »