Regulators are imposing tougher fines for anti-money laundering (AML) failures.
Research by business advisory firm Kroll has found that 45 fines were issued to regulated firms for anti-money laundering failings in 2020, the same figure as 2020 but the value rose.
The level of AML fines in 2020 was $2.2bn, five times higher than in 2019 and more than two-thirds of the record levels of $3.3bn recorded in 2018.
Most fines were in the US, at $328m, with $47.45m worth of penalties in the UK
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“The figures show that investigations were not paused for Covid-19,” Claire Simm, managing director in the financial services compliance and regulation department at Kroll, said.
“While the number of fines remained constant, the value of fines surged as regulators imposed tougher penalties, continuing to send the message that despite any obstacles, enforcement remains a top priority for non-compliant behaviour.”
The report also found that AML management has been the most common issue for fines in this area between 2016 and 2021 with 124 cases.
There have been 98 cases of fines for poor suspicious activity monitoring, 94 for customer due diligence and 57 for compliance monitoring over the same period.
Regulated firms, included peer-to-peer lenders, are required to have AML procedures in place so they understand where investor money is coming from and who it is going to.
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