KYC360 Weekly Roundup - 26th Apr 2024

Published on Apr 26, 2024

Top stories this week: 

New report from PWC reveals that some financial firms consider AML regulations to be unhelpful | UK MP warns of ‘dirty money epidemic’ | New European AML authority to be based in Frankfurt

Welcome to this week’s edition of the KYC Roundup - your gateway to the most impactful developments in the world of Anti-Money Laundering and financial crime. In the AML arena, the top stories feature the announcement of Frankfurt as the headquarters of the new European AML authority, a new report from PWC showing that some financial firms consider AML regulations to be unhelpful and the German bank Commerzbank being fined 1.45 million euros for AML failings.  

In the fast-paced world of sanctions, the EU announces fresh sanctions against Iran and the U.S. warns Pakistan of sanctions risk if business deals with Iran go ahead.  

In the corruption space, a UK MP warns of a ‘dirty money epidemic’ and Russia arrests their deputy defence minister on corruption charges.  

We round off this week’s roundup with an opportunity to register for our latest webinar, “Mastering Regulatory Complexity in Gaming and Gambling.”  

Financial_ServicesKYC & AML

New report from PWC reveals that some financial firms consider AML regulations to be unhelpful 
The ‘AML Survey 2024: Spotlight on Effectiveness’ revealed that only 53% of EMEA financial firms believe that current AML regulations are helpful to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. Over a third of respondents cited an increase in regulatory pressures as their most challenging issue and just over half stated they will spend more than 10% of their AML budget on technology in the next 2 years.  

New European AML authority to be based in Frankfurt 
AMLA (Anti-Money Laundering Authority) is a new EU regulatory body that aims to curb money laundering and corruption. The European Parliament has confirmed that it will be based in the German financial capital and it is set to begin operations in 2025.   

U.S. prosecutors seek 3 year sentence for Binance founder  
Changpeng Zhao, the founder and ex-CEO of the world’s largest crypto exchange, pleaded guilty to money laundering charges. Prosecutors have pushed for a 3 year prison sentence, above the recommended maximum sentencing guideline of 18 months. Binance has agreed to a $4.2 billion fine for AML failings.  

German bank Commerzbank fined 1.45 million euros for AML failings  
The German financial regulatory authority BaFin ordered the fine because of failures in updating customer data on time and not providing proper security measures. This resulted in a lack of due diligence in three cases.  

Canadian bank TD addressing weaknesses in AML processes  
CEO Bharat Masrani stated that the bank continues to be probed by the U.S. Justice Department and is actively working on strengthening its AML processes. According to analysts, TD, Canada’s second largest bank, could expect a fine in the region of $500 million to $1 billion. 

UAE and Gibraltar remain on EU watchlist  
Earlier this year, the two countries were removed from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) greylist. However, MPs in the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to oppose this position, which means they will remain on the EU watchlist.  

Bosnia arrests 23 individuals suspected of involvement in drug cartel  
The houses and offices of the individuals were swarmed by officers supported by Europol agents as well as the DEA and FBI. They are accused of being facilitators and accomplices of a major criminal network involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.  

SanctionsSanctions

EU announces fresh sanctions against Iran  
The EU has agreed to further sanctions to curb the use of EU-made components in the production of Iranian UAVs, drones and ballistic missiles. This includes asset-freezes and travel bans on any individuals or entities involved in Iran’s UAV programme. These latest sanctions come as a response to Iran’s unprecedented drone and missile attack on Israel. 

U.S. warns Pakistan of sanctions risk if business deals with Iran go ahead  
President Ebrahim Raisi visited Pakistan this week, the first visit by an Iranian president in 8 years, to discuss cooperation in the energy sector, including a major gas pipeline project which has faced delays for years due to geopolitical turmoil and international sanctions. The U.S. Department of State warned Pakistan about the risk of sanctions if business deals go ahead.  

Tether to freeze crypto wallets evading sanctions against Venezuela  
The stablecoin issuer has stated it will freeze wallets that use USDT to evade oil sanctions against Venezuela. PDVSA, the state-owned oil company has reportedly increased its use of the stablecoin after sanctions were reimposed by the U.S.  

EU considers sanctions against suppliers of Russian weapons technology  
A Bloomberg report revealed that the EU is mulling sanctions against companies that continue to provide Russia with weapons technology, including navigation systems for missiles. The EU is set to announce their 14th package of sanctions against Russia later this year.  

CryptoCorruption

UK MP warns of a ‘dirty money epidemic’  
Dame Margaret Hodge, who has long campaigned on tackling corruption, has warned that enforcement agencies are failing to use the tools at their disposal to fight the dirty money crisis and called for enhanced transparency of beneficial ownership in offshore tax havens and public information on owners of UK property. Hodge stated that “Economic crime is costing our economy £350bn each year.”  

Russian deputy defence minister arrested on corruption charges 
The deputy defence minister, Timur Ivanov, is accused of accepting bribes on a widespread scale. He has been remanded in custody and has denied the charges.    

Gambling_GamingGaming and Gambling

Crown Resorts retains casino license  
The Blackstone owned casino resort was handed a record fine of AUD 450 million by Australian regulators in 2023 due to AML failings. After three years of remediation, they have been cleared to retain their Sydney operating license.   
  

Resources

KYC360 News

New Webinar: Mastering Regulatory Complexity in Gaming and Gambling  
Join Stephen Platt, Founder of KYC360 and Ian Penrose, Board Advisor, as they discuss how firms can adapt compliance processes and successfully thrive in a fast-changing landscape. Hear how robust compliance becomes a competitive advantage allowing you to do more, better business faster. 
Register now

 

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