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Global banks fined $5.6 Billion for AML failings

By Elizabeth Hearst

Banks and financial institutions have been fined $5.6 Billion for failures in anti-money laundering regulations, during the first seven months of this year. 

A report by Dublin-headquartered FinTech company, Fenergo has detailed that fines totalling over $10 Billion were recorded globally between October 2018 to December 2019, with twelve of the world’s top 50 banks receiving fines. 

The report highlights that $36 Billion has been issued in fines to financial institutions since 2008, with the value of 2020’s fines set to surpass 2019’s total of almost $8.4 Billion.

Rachel Woolley, global director of financial crime at the company said: “Although regulatory and supervisory activity may have been impacted by Covid-19, global regulators have reinforced the importance of vigilance and reporting of suspicious activity to ensure the detection and prevention of financial crimes throughout the pandemic.”

The report states that regulators in the US imposed $4.5 Billion in penalties, an increase from $1.5 Billion during the previous analysis period. Recent fines handed down include over $150 Million against Deutsche Bank for its link to Jeffrey Epstein, and a multi-billion dollar fine against Goldman Sachs’ involvement in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal.

Woolley expects to see additional fines in relation to the Malaysian scandal and said: “We can expect to see additional penalties issued in response to the 1MDB scandal as the US Department of Justice investigation remains open”. 

The Bank of Ireland was handed down a €1.66 Million fine by the Central Bank in July over regulatory breaches. It followed an investigation into the transfer of more than €100,000 to a scammer who hacked into a client’s email account six year ago.

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