Anyone needing a nudge regarding compliance with money laundering regulations, take note: During the past 18 months, regulators have levied more than $10 billion in fines and settlements on banks that failed to meet AML laws and regulations.
The consequences of compliance failures are severe, yet adherence is incredibly difficult considering ever-evolving regulatory demands. To help navigate this challenging landscape, we have just published our sixth edition of Protiviti’s Guide to U.S. Anti-Money Laundering Requirements.
What began as a simple effort on our part to answer basic questions about the topic has become – we’re proud to say – a “must-have” resource for leading financial services organizations that are orchestrating the battle against money-laundering operations.
The latest edition of the Guide features more than 600 pages and includes new and expanded information on critical topics, including:
- Virtual currency
- Selection and use of U.S. anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) technology
- Human trafficking and smuggling
- Conflict between federal and state laws affecting marijuana-related businesses
- In-depth information about how U.S. AML/CFT standards compare to those issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
The information in our Guide was gathered from an array of regulatory publications, guidance from governmental agencies and law enforcement, and other sources, including our own work with a wide range of companies. The Guide, however, is provided for general information and is not intended to serve as legal analysis or advice.
For easy use, the Guide is segmented into chapters, beginning with summaries of the basic principles of money laundering and terrorist financing. Individual sections address specific requirements of major legislation, for example, the USA PATRIOT Act. The PATRIOT Act has provisions dealing with terrorist financing, and we address associated requirements for financial institutions, such as establishing AML programs with policies, procedures and controls, designation of a compliance officer, training and independent review.
One of the Guide’s most valuable contributions is its step-by-step explanation of key issues. Chapters are devoted to answering hundreds of questions about protecting the institution. This format delves into the many practical considerations of implementing and maintaining effective compliance.
For example, in the chapter addressing risk assessments, we answer questions such as:
- How can financial institutions utilize risk assessments in their AML/CFT compliance programs?
- Who should be responsible for conducting risk assessments?
- Is the risk assessment for money laundering and terrorist financing the same?
Other practical information emphasizes KYC – Know Your Customer – and provides guidance about identifying the customer, understanding the nature of a customer’s activities and assessing the money laundering or terrorist financing risks associated with the customer. The Guide also informs user of the latest obligations that “customer due diligence requirements” would impose on financial institutions.
Among the final chapters, the Guide deals with compliance demands for nonbank financial institutions and nonfinancial businesses, and provides perspectives on international matters and related initiatives.
Based on industry feedback we receive regularly, this Guide is essential for those keeping abreast with complex and changing AML compliance regulations. And it’s a vital tool to avoid the consequences of noncompliance that can range from regulatory enforcement actions to charter/license revocations, otherwise known as the “death penalty.”