Insight

Insight

We look beyond today

  • A successful financial crime regime remains elusive however, steps can be taken to address the issues
    Having worked in the industry for several years, I am aware that some senior managers take calculated risks and ignore glaringly obvious money laundering activities for profit. In some cases, relationship managers (RM), senior managers and board members deliberately ignore the MLRO’s advise and do as they wish, all in the name of profit and commission. In my view, the pressure on senior managers from shareholders to turn a profit is the single most significant driver for continuous bank failings to monitor appropriately and effectively detect and report financial crime. This is a very real and present danger to the […]
  • Can Crypto Overcome Its Reputation as a Weak Link in Financial Crime?
    The crypto sector is often painted as the weakest link in the fight against financial crime. More recently, it has been accused of posing a risk to financial stability and compromising investor security with its laissez-faire attitude toward cybersecurity. But if you take the temperature of illicit activity linked to the crypto-asset ecosphere, it throws up some sharp contradictions. It is true that crypto remains the payment mechanism of choice for narcotics and other illicit commodities on the darknet, but as law enforcement continues to reinforce its surveillance of these hawkers, such black markets are declining. Unregulated crypto-asset exchanges continue […]
  • AML in Challenger Banks
    Webinar – Please click above to watch AML in Challenger Banks. Watch the conversation on the recent review by the FCA which declared that challenger banks must improve how they assess financial crime risk. We focused on the FCA’s expectation in the upcoming months and top AML tips for challenger banks including improving how they assess financial crime risk, the adequacy of AML checks when onboarding new customers and how to write a robust Suspicious Activity Report.
  • Financial regulator cautions UK against rushing to create ‘crypto hub’
    Outgoing UK FCA head Charles Randell advises lawmakers not to rush crypto regulation. His statements come after city minister John Glen announced plans to make the U.K. a global crypto hub. Randell said that regulators should consider whether they should be backing the crypto industry at all, following bitcoin’s recent drop. Charles Randell, the 63-year-old lawyer who gained prominence advising the U.K. Treasury during the 2008 financial crisis, has cautioned against the hasty drafting of crypto regulations. Appointed as chairman of the FCA for a five-year term in April 2018, Randell said that regulators need to be realistic when estimating […]
  • FCA review unearths weaknesses in challenger banks’ financial crime controls
    A review by the FCA has declared that challenger banks must improve how they assess financial crime risk. The findings also revealed that some challenger banks were failing to adequately check their customers’ income and occupation also did not have financial crime risk assessments in place. The review, conducted over 2021, identified a rise in the number of Suspicious Activity Reports reported by challenger banks, raising concerns about the adequacy of these banks’ checks when taking on new customers. Challenger banks aim to compete with traditional high street banks using smarter technology and more up-to-date IT systems. Many are recent […]
  • Will you be ready for ‘failure to prevent economic crime’ law when it comes into force?
    The likelihood of a UK ‘failure to prevent economic crime’ (FPEC) law has risen significantly since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and could have major implications for businesses and their anti-money laundering (AML) frameworks. In March 2022, the government fast-tracked measures to fight financial crime in response to the invasion and the FPEC law is due around June 2022. Meanwhile, the government has promised a more substantive economic crime package in June or July of this year. It’s not clear whether this package will be able to include FPEC law, but the pressure for it has been growing for some time and could […]
  • The economic crime bill…will it be effective?
    Will the economic crime bill, or to give its formal title, the economic crime (transparency and enforcement) bill, rushed through the Commons on Monday be effective? Here’s what it is and what it is meant to do. What is the bill? In broad terms, it is meant to make life more difficult for people seeking to hide wealth in the UK, particularly those doing so from overseas, including criminals and those – such as Russian oligarchs – who might be seeking to shelter illicitly acquired money, particularly through property purchases. The bill had been repeatedly delayed, and after ministers were […]
  • A Sanctions Compliance Emergency
    How should firms react to the emergency in order to guarantee compliance and protect their reputation, as war rages in Ukraine? As war rages in Ukraine, the international business community is understandably concerned to ensure that it plays its part by complying fully with the sanctions that are being imposed by western governments. As major international financial centres acting as way-stations for large capital flows for wealthy individuals and corporates London, New York, Luxembourg and a host of smaller offshore centres have a vital role to play. It’s also important to stress that as sanctions apply across the board ALL […]
  • Pressure on AML functions from alternative payments boom
    As the adoption of alternative digital payments accelerates, financial firms are rushing to make sure their anti-financial crime systems can cope. Alternative payment systems such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal have grown rapidly during the pandemic due to the need to replace germy cash with more hygienic contactless solutions. Growth in online purchases and awareness of digital options have also contributed. Cap Gemini’s 2021 World Payments Report shows alternatives are rapidly becoming the norm, with 45% of consumers regularly using mobile wallets, up from 23% in 2020. But, while it helps keep our hands clean, this radical change […]
  • FCA could use criminal powers in more AML probes after NatWest case
    Is the Financial Conduct Authority about to up the ante on its approach to tackling money laundering? Having successfully concluded its first criminal investigation of a money laundering case, the chief City regulator is actively pursuing several more. Its leaders appear to want to send a message that they’re getting tough. It has taken some time to reach this point. The FCA has had powers to launch criminal investigations of money laundering cases since the UK’s Money Laundering Regulations came into effect in 2007 – and those powers were strengthened by further regulation in 2017. However, it took until March […]

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