At the beginning of this year, the ICA published the top Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fines of 2016. So as we come to the end of 2017, I thought we’d take a look at who’s been on Santa’s naughty list this year; in other words, the top FCA fines of 2017.....More
What exactly is required of a KYC analyst? What are the specific duties and responsibilities that make up this key compliance function?
As the year draws to a close, it’s always a good opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months. With this in mind, I took a look back at the blogs International Compliance Training has published on anti money laundering in 2017 and chose my five favourites.....More
The UK Government recently published their strategy for addressing the effects of corruption across the UK, which will provide a framework to guide the government’s anti-corruption policies and actions. It also underpins the current government’s strengthened focus on economic crime. We thought we’d take a look at some of the key elements.
Whilst the CDD process can be considered as a process with inputs and outputs I would like to put forward another way to think about this subject area. As my students know, I love a good analogy and the parallels I would like to draw with CDD is the building of a house.....More
Through the advent period, International Compliance Association will be publishing an insight on each Advent Sunday to focus on the topic of KYC – Know Your Customer. You have a copy of their passport, you have verified where they live and have checked their birthday against their driving licence (questionable photo and all), but do you really know your customer?....More
In the lead up to the UN’s International Anti-Corruption Day on 09 December, we have collated a collection of articles and blogs, written over the last 12 months, to aid your learning journey on this all-important subject. The information that you take away should help stimulate discussion and support you in making sound decisions in your role.
It struck me that the compliance department has certain parallels with the Ministry of Magic from J.K. Rowling´s Harry Potter series. Both are often misunderstood, mysterious, ‘secretly’ structured but at the same time necessary and important.....More
Thanksgiving Day is upon us, and in celebration of the annual harvest, we have collated our top five blogs with US origins. Let’s take a retrospective look at our favourite blogs from the last year, with a keen focus on the United States.
How many of us, if we were then asked to think of terrorism and the Caribbean, would think back to the bygone era of piracy; of Calico Jack and mutiny on the seas? This era ended around the 1830s so surely terrorism is something that now happens outside of the Caribbean, doesn’t it?....More
Earlier this year the French government enacted Sapin II, an anti-bribery and corruption law that bolstered the country’s transparency and anti-corruption efforts. The legislation was introduced after criticism over the years of France’s anti-bribery and corruption efforts from several quarters (including the OECD). The introduction of Sapin II was the most significant initiative on anti-corruption in the country in decades.....More
Jerry Walters has a Distinction in the International Compliance Association Diploma Course in Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorist Financing (CTF). As well as being a member of the ICA, Jerry is a former Detective Constable and has worked on high profile cases including Operation Trilby. He is still involved in all aspects of tackling financial crime through the running of his own business. Here, Jerry discusses what ICA and compliance means to him.
Hooray! I’m a winner! I won £412,000 on the Pakistan Prize Bond Draw. And I didn’t just win it once. I won it 123 times. Yes – you read that correctly. I won it 123 times. Fancy that eh? What an incredible run of luck. Now pause, if you haven’t already. That’s as likely as winning the UK National Lottery jackpot 40 weeks running…....More
I read an article recently that highlighted how North Korea is using Hong Kong to launder their criminal proceeds. The article described the use of shell companies established in the region that provide the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (the official name of North Korea) with access to the global financial system. Severe international sanctions are in place to restrict this access to North Korea, so any advantage they can gain is really important for them to maintain the best access they can.
Privacy and Switzerland are often seen as synonymous, and whilst Switzerland is no longer seen as a secrecy haven, protecting client data is still a badge of honour for the country. Data protection law in Switzerland has a level of protection like that of the EU Data Protection Directive, and in some respects, is reported to even go beyond EU Law, especially in relation to the protection of data pertaining to legal entities. But in an age of cyber-enabled crime, can Switzerland ensure that data is secure?....More
Denmark sits at the enviable position as the ‘cleanest’ country in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI). As previously discussed in ICA Insights, although deemed to be the cleanest, Denmark isn’t free from all financial crime woes.
Avec Tracfin et certaines lois récemment instaurées, la France est un acteur européen majeur dans la lutte contre le blanchiment d’argent et le financement du terrorisme. Quels ont été les changements effectués lors de ces dernières années ?....More
At the International Compliance Association, we regularly find ourselves deliberating money laundering issues, which can range from recent enforcement actions to newly published reports showing the latest figures for details such as suspicious activity reports or jurisdictional risk. Which is why, when I read a headline stating that the Swedish legal system was being exploited to commit money laundering, quite a discussion was sparked.
In this comprehensive report, it was revealed that the biggest obstacle to investment in technology is cost. We have broken down the key findings of the report into this infographic, to help you understand the need for forward planning.....More
Anonymity, discretion and confidentiality: terminology often associated with shell companies incorporated in jurisdictions with high secrecy laws. However, does the virtual economy – notably Bitcoin, the de facto currency of choice – facilitate the very same mechanisms that criminals attempt to abuse? This brief article will explore some of the key similarities between a shell company and a Bitcoin address, with a view to answering the question ‘Are Bitcoin addresses shell companies in disguise?’
New York has been capturing the imagination and the attention of the world for well over 100 years. It’s a city like no other; its intoxicating pull is felt by both residents and non-residents alike. It has also long been a source of inspiration for those looking to fight crime: in the Superhero world, Marvel’s Spiderman, The Avengers and The Defenders all call New York home. Some people believe that Metropolis and Gotham, home to Superman and Batman, are also based on New York.....More
Since 2008, the UN has held its day in honour and promotion of democracy on 15 September. For a cluster of nations across Latin America, this is a date that holds a special reverence, marking their independence from colonial rule: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica all celebrate their independence day on 15 September (with Mexico’s the following day, and Chile’s three days later).
Since 2008, the UN has held its day in honour and promotion of democracy on 15 September. For a cluster of nations across Latin America, this is a date that holds a special reverence, marking their independence from colonial rule: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica all celebrate their independence day on 15 September (with Mexico’s the following day, and Chile’s three days later).....More
Ireland is an important regional and international financial hub and is included in the IMF’s 29 systematically important financial centres. This is evidenced in the sheer number of banks looking to move some of their operations from London to Dublin in the wake of Brexit.
Find out more about the ICA qualifications, how they can help you progress in your career and assist you in performing to the highest standard of professional practice and conduct.....More
You might be unaware that at around the same time, across the border in Canada, a taskforce was set up to provide recommendations on the outline of a framework for the regulation and legalisation of recreational cannabis in the country. A report was subsequently published which delineated these recommendations, exploring how cannabis should be regulated, minimum age requirements, personal allowance and packaging.
Joining a professional organisation is a must for those keen to develop their career prospects and enhance their professional capabilities. Most professions will have a professional organisation that can be joined, and in any walk of life these bodies are seen as a commitment to your career, and a benchmark of excellence.
Technological innovation is ceaselessly impacting on many key sectors of our lives, and the financial industry is not immune to it. European institutions are aware that technology-enabled and technology-supported financial services (FinTech) represents a great opportunity for the financial industry.....More
A decade-long battle between the United States government and the owners of a New York skyscraper was concluded last month when a US jury agreed with the government’s assertion that the Alavi Foundation, the majority owners, were guilty of money laundering and violating sanctions on Iran.
As the technology to facilitate cashless transactions becomes more widespread, it can play an important role in know-your-customer and anti-money laundering efforts.....More
It’s not just a question of following a rule book, compliance officers need to be able to strike a good balance between commerciality and compliance.
Distributed ledger technology (DLT) – of which blockchain is one particular type – is a decentralised database. This means that instead of records being held by one trusted entity that is the true source of the information (which is how many databases operate at the moment in the form of a ‘centralised ledger’), a group of peers maintain a shared database. Therefore, the consensus of the group is the record: there is no single trusted source.
The successful infiltration of technology into every aspect of our personal lives has led pundits, over the last few years, to try and predict how technology will alter the landscape of our professional lives.....More
On Monday 26 June 2017, by the skin of its teeth, the UK enacted the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (the MLRs 2017). Dragging its heels, somewhat unusually for UK Plc, there were a few tweaks but no real surprises between the draft MLRs and the final version with five key changes made:
South Africa is undoubtedly a success story, from its lush wine lands which produce world class wines, diamond mines producing gems sold all over the world, to the Kruger National Park, which is populated by big game and is a huge magnet for tourists. South Africa seems to have it all, so why is its leader getting it so wrong? And what effect could this have on how the country is perceived around the world?
This weekend sees the annual English FA Cup Final. It’s been previously reported that this football match can attract half a billion viewers from across the world. Chelsea won the English Premier League this season. This was widely lauded as being down to a switch to a 3-5-3 formation in the early autumn. Arsenal have often utilized 4-3-3 formation. The ‘3 lines’ seems to dovetail rather nicely with the ‘3 lines of defence’ mode (3LOD), which is widely used in regulated firms to provide a systematic approach to risk management. Let’s explore that a bit further so we can draw out the similarities.
Bribery and corruption is a global issue, generating increasing public outcry and requiring international coordination. The direction of travel is clear – anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) is – finally - firmly on the agenda of government agencies, non-governmental organisations, media outlets and the public.....More
Interview with Peter van Veen, Director of the Business Integrity Programme and Rachel Davies Teka, Head of Advocacy, Transparency International
The use of sanctions as an international means of affecting change has grown exponentially in recent times. As countries become less and less keen to use military force, the world has turned to sanctions implementation as a means of impacting international change, both politically and socially.
Panama, Brazil, Afghanistan, China, Malaysia, Pakistan, Ukraine, Angola, South Africa. Examples of corruption cases abound beyond the limits of European geography. A cursory look at the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index shows plenty of low-ranking jurisdictions, many situated at a substantial distance from continental Europe. Does this mean that European companies, executives, regulators and prosecutors can sit back, head early for the beaches of the Mediterranean this summer and leave their international counterparts to manage these anti-corruption risks far from Madrid, Paris, Rome and other EU capitals? Clearly, the answer is ‘no’.....More
Why would someone well educated and well compensated risk their own liberty to pay a bribe? Richard Bistrong covers the reasons why we say yes...
As this is Anti-Corruption week, I thought it would be good to take a look at the top ten fines handed down to companies under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
Asia and the rest of the world has been rocked by the 1MDB corruption scandal which has seen investigations triggered around the globe including the United States, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Malaysia.....More
Sweden is generally perceived as a safe country with low crime. It ranks near the top of international indices for low corruption and strong rule of law. Tax crimes are the most significant predicate offence for money laundering identified in Sweden’s national risk assessment (NRA). Fraud is also identified as a major and growing concern. Both offences contribute a large part to the proceeds of organised crime in Sweden.
Listen to Sally Scutt, ICA Strategic Advisor interview Annabel Reoch, UK Head Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption, KPMG about the importance of transparency and challenging a collusive culture.....More
ICT compares results from the World Economic Forum publishes annual corruption index and Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) in this Prezi presentation.
There is a good chance that corruption is a subject of both personal and professional concern to you. If that is the case, it is a sentiment you share with individuals the world over.....More
Historically, there hasn’t been a large number of high profile enforcement actions in relation to bribery. The low numbers could be taken as a sign that regulators are not focusing on this risk or conversely that firms have improved systems and controls so much that bribery is a thing of the past.
In a recent ICA article, we addressed the issue of de-risking and in particular the effect this is having in the Caribbean. The article referred to the fact that the United States are mostly responsible for the de-risking drive, and I want to highlight some of the indicators of this and also to look at why the U.S. are taking this approach.....More
We get asked a lot of questions about ICA qualifications. That makes sense given our role as a training provider. The questions range from ‘will this qualification land me a new role?’ to ‘what course is right for me?’. While we are always happy to have a chat about options and suitability, and make recommendations, fundamentally the qualification you select has to be your decision.
What is the 5AMLD? 5AMLD is a bit of misnomer, as it is in fact a set of proposed amendments to the Fourth Anti Money Laundering Directive (4AMLD) which is to be transposed on 26th June 2017. These proposed amendments were published in July 2016 as a way of strengthening the 4AMLD in light of recent terrorist attacks in Europe.....More
It is fascinating how apparently unconnected points can be linked to reveal compliance challenges and opportunities. How, for example, does Brexit connect us to AML regulations, FinTech and Big Data in Ireland?
The Internet has brought us many great things, but I would argue that easy access to counterfeit documents is not one of them. Over the years we have seen the emergence of websites offering creation of fake documents – you send the name and address you want shown on a bank statement or utility bill, along with the transactions, and they create it for you.....More
Verifying the identity of a customer can be as gloriously simple as meeting a customer face-to-face and taking a copy of their original passport and a utility bill. On the other side of the client due diligence (CDD) spectrum is trying to unravel a complex corporate structure and understanding the identity of the ultimate beneficial owner.
In January this year, the Office for National Statistics released its latest Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW). The CSEW is a face-to-face victimisation survey where individuals resident in England and Wales are questioned about their experiences of a selection of offences in the last 12 months. This survey - which covers October 2015 to September 2016 – includes for the first time the offences of fraud and computer misuse (also known as cybercrime). Although the CSEW is unable to compare the results for fraud and cybercrime to previous years, the figures are still pretty staggering.....More
The recent Serious Fraud Office (SFO) case against Rolls-Royce has prompted discussion on whether prosecutors should do more to hold individuals to account for bribery and corruption offences. CorruptionIn a guest blog for Transparency International, Sue Hawley of anti-bribery site Corruption Watch called the SFO’s deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with Rolls-Royce a ‘failure of nerve’.
Googled it? We offer insight to firms who vet their customers for ‘negative news’ or ‘adverse information’ through various methods of screening.
Modern slavery is a global issue that takes many guises and has the capacity to impact on businesses across many industry sectors.
As Bitcoin prices rose from $1,000 to $19,000, Ethereum from $8 to $715 and Ripple XRP up from $0.0064 to $3.79 in under 12 months, I found myself wondering, can this all be true? What is the story behind these obscene gains? Is this a wonder drug promising immortality to mankind?....More
We break down combined fines of nearly £18 million issued by the Financial Conduct Authority to five top offenders in 2016.
A large number of global information, communication and technology (ICT) companies are based in Ireland.
Odebrecht and Braskem, two Brazilian companies, have been fined at least US$3.5 billion after pleading guilty to bribing government officials.
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