There is good reason to shake heads. A year or so ago, the UK Treasury initiated a consultation in which it issued "A call for evidence to review the UK’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Supervisory Regime." Aside from the fact that, as a British body it really should get the English right and refer to counter-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing, it was all a bit lacking in balls. At least if the consultation was so afflicted, it's no surprise that the result is largely emasculated, too.
Of course, no one should evade tax. It is and always has been a tenet of tax law that declaring income and assets for tax is the responsibility of the taxpayer. But the OECD has long wanted to gain xray vision into bank accounts and with its "Automatic Exchange of Information" project, every bank account in the world will be subject to "automatic" inspection by "participating jurisdictions." Watch out for blacklists of jurisdictions that argue that there are local legal obstacles to free access to account information.
Did you know that you can buy WMLR back issues starting with issue 1 (November 1999) in e-book format from Amazon.com or, even, read for free as a member of Amazon Prime and various other schemes? Better yet, you can read it on your PC, phone, tablet or, of course, Kindle.
New legislation introduced into New Zealand's parliament yesterday will plug some surprising holes in the country's counter-money laundering laws. But it's important to recognise that New Zealand has some special problems that, in essence, mean that this developed economy should be measured against developing economies when regulatory, etc. rules are considered, says Nigel Morris-Cotterill. The Bill contains one major foul-up, he says.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has today announced that it has made prohibition orders against a former Goldman Sachs director and plans to make orders against three other persons as a result of their involvement in the 1MDB scandal.
Continuing World Money Laundering Report's Analysis of the USA's review of 2016 for its 2017 International Narcotics Control Report. In this Part: selected Country Notes. Comment and commentary, not simply reportage.
Every year, on 1 March, the US Department of State presents to Congress its annual International Narcotics Control Report. In two volumes, one relates to drugs and related products and the other to money laundering and financial crimes, it provides an analysis of its reviews in 2016. It is largely free from politics, despite its source, being a factual analysis of legislation and enforcement in many countries, and is a valuable indicator of risk for Financial Crime Risk Officers. Here are some of the things World Money Laundering Report has found especially interesting in the 2017 report, including a shameful omission.
Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE and its subsidiaries and associates were investigated for "apparent" breaches of US sanctions, in particular a trade embargo with Iran.
Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation is incorporated in China and has subsidiaries and "affiliates throughout the world that conduct business on ZTE and on its behalf," according to OFAC.
A civil penalty has been applied. No prosecution will take place. There is a finding of no fault despite what OFAC calls "an egregious case."
In an excellent, and enterprising, initiative, New York has used some USD58 million of the vast fines and penalties it has applied to foreign banks to help in an innovative crime prevention scheme aimed at young people who, in the absence of help, are more likely to rob banks than to work in them.
In 2015, the UK's Financial Conduct Authority fined Barclays Bank its then largest penalty for failings in its financial crime management obligations. Barclays had been one of the first major banks to install company-wide money laundering management software. But it doesn't help when those within the bank don't feed it the information it needs.
The European Union's Fourth Money Laundering Directive recognises the financial sector regulatory framework created in response to the global financial crisis. The three headline bodies are required to work jointly in a number of areas and, in relation to money laundering and terrorist financing, to produce a "Joint Opinion" every two years. Yesterday, it released the first. Here is our first look and, starting only four lines into the Executive Summary, there are important points to consider.