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Insight

Regulatory Enforcement Actions in 2019

Written by David Povey on Thursday December 19, 2019

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It’s that time of year again, when Santa checks his list to see who’s been naughty and nice. Some institutions and firms have found themselves on a different sort of list in 2019 and have been on the receiving end of regulatory enforcement action.

In what has become something of a festive tradition at ICA, we’ve collated the biggest of these fines issued by both OFAC and the FCA this year to see what lessons can be learnt for 2020.

Between the two regulators, this year’s fines totalled nearly £1.3 billion ($1.8 billion). This is a significant increase to the £116 million ($149 million) in 2018, and even the £322 million ($414 million) in 2017.

This year’s figures rocketed thanks to both OFAC and the FCA fining Standard Chartered a whopping £593 million ($793 million) combined, which in itself amounts to 44% of the total fines for the year.

Looking towards next year, Australian bank Westpac has made headlines for a multitude of money laundering breaches so it will be fascinating to see what action regulators take and whether 2020 will get off to an expensive start.

Three key lessons to learn from 2019

  1. Payments must not be allowed to go to places and people where they are used to carry out harm.
  2. Reporting suspicious activity must take place as soon as it becomes apparent.
  3. Controls must be in place to focus on customer due diligence and ongoing monitoring checks.

Regulators will continue to spot, investigate and fine anyone that breaches compliance regulations in 2020, and we all have a part to play in fostering a good culture of compliance to prevent breaches at work. 


This article forms part of the #BigCompConvo - Join us as we explore and debate the latest challenges and issues facing you and regulatory and financial crime compliance professionals all over the world. If you’d like to contribute an article as part of the Big Compliance Conversation get in touch with us at contributions@int-comp.org

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