AML fines ‘hit $2.2bn’ in 2020

Fines related to anti-money laundering (AML) failures hit $2.2 billion globally in 2020 according to research from consulting firm Kroll.

The total value of fines for 2020 was five times that of 2019, but the number of AML fines given out to regulated institutions remained the same at 45.

2021 is also proving to be a significant year in terms of AML fines, with $994 million worth of them issued as of June 2021 according to the New York-based firm, nearly half of the 2020 and 2017 totals.

Kroll said the Nordics and Australia have “led the way” and imposed record levels of enforcement penalties, despite the US historically leading the way in terms of issuing AML fines.

$47 million worth of AML fines were issued in the UK in 2020, far less than the $404 million worth of fines issued in the US, the $917 million issued in Australia, the $560 million issued in Sweden, and the $357 million issued in Hong Kong.

Kroll said that AML management, suspicious activity monitoring, customer due diligence, and compliance oversight were the most frequently cited failings in its report, and that this trend is consistent across all regions globally.

The findings come after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed earlier this week that NatWest has been fined £264.8 million following convictions for three offences of failing to comply with money laundering regulations.

https://www.fstech.co.uk/fst/NatWest_Fined_264m_For_Anti_Money_Laundering_Failures.php

“The figures show that investigations were not paused for Covid-19,” said Claire Simm, managing director, financial services compliance and regulation at Kroll. “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.

“These fines show that across the world, regulators continue to put high importance on financial crime enforcement.”

She added: “We can expect to see mega-fines and criminal enforcement continue through 2021 and beyond."

    Share Story:

Recent Stories


New Business Frontiers
FStech’s Mark Evans discusses the future of financial services with Liu Jianning of Huawei, covering the limitations that current thinking can impose, how financial institutions can embrace technology to be both agile and resilient, and making space for the organisation to focus on the job of creating innovative business models and on delivering business value for their customers.

The Future of Intelligent Finance
FStech Group Editor Mark Evans sits down with Jason Cao, President of Global Financial Services Business Unit, Enterprise BG at Huawei ahead of its Intelligent Finance Summit which was held on 3rd and 4th of June in Shanghai. This Q&A delves into key trends in digital transformation of the financial services industry as well as a look at how data, robotic infrastructure, intelligent storage and innovative technologies are shaping the future for FSIs.

Cracking down on fraud
In this webinar a panel of expert speakers explored the ways in which high-volume PSPs and FinTechs are preventing fraud while providing a seamless customer experience.