Are you Monitoring Correspondent Banking Clients for Negative News? You Probably Should be.

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

If you have been in the AML industry for any amount of time you are aware that correspondent banking clients pose an increased risk of money laundering to a financial institution. Based on existing regulations, guidance from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and industry “best” practices, financial institutions conduct enhanced due diligence… Read more »

“Paradise Papers” Topic List

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

It’s like the Panama Papers all over again!  On November 5, 2017, information on the Paradise Papers was released to the public via the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ – view page here).  Without a doubt, financial institutions and banks are scrutinizing these documents for client, account, and transactional exposure. A quick overview of the… Read more »

Why negative news screening is as important as ever

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

The pinnacle of a well-established AML program is its transaction monitoring program. There are entire groups dedicated to reviewing transactions generated by these systems, groups dedicated to reviewing the initial reviews, groups optimizing scenarios and rules, groups auditing these scenarios, groups tasked with drafting policies and procedures, etc.  Transaction monitoring is an extremely important component… Read more »

An Easy Way to Speed Up AML Work

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

At my twin daughters’ 7th grade back to school night last week I was forced to relive my horror of Algebra 1. As the parents walked into the classroom, the teacher handed us an index card and told us to complete the problem on the board.  “Show your work or no credit, and your kids… Read more »

AML Risks in Real Estate

Posted by & filed under AML General, Negative News.

The real estate market is hot…especially for money launderers. The purchasing of real estate with illicit proceeds is not a newly identified method of money laundering, yet it continues to be pervasive with drug traffickers, corrupt officers, and criminals. In a way, this should be one of the more difficult ways to launder funds, as… Read more »

Reviewing Negative News: Costs Are Worse Than Thought

Posted by & filed under Negative News.

Third in a series.  See part 1 and part 2. Current ways of reviewing negative news results are monotonous, frustrating, and harmful to AML compliance. Negative news is the best way to identify AML risk, yet reading piles of irrelevant results can zap the attention and spirit of every AML investigator. So, a troubling paradox… Read more »

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 »

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 »