Value of AML fines grow fivefold in 2020

There were 45 fines for AML failures issued globally during 2020, which matched the levels of 2019, and 2021 looks set to match this figure, according to a report from Kroll.

Its annual Global Enforcement Review 2021 report found there have already been 17 AML fines between January and July 2021.

Despite the number of fines being the same, the value of the penalties were five-times higher in 2020, compared with 2019. The report claims AML enforcement reached $2.2bn in 2020, a huge rise from the $444m issued in 2019.

However, 2018 still holds the record for the highest year of fines, with $3.3bn issued in penalties.

As for 2021, a total of $994m has been handed out in fines.

The report also highlights the key areas regulators are finding compliance failures with. Between 2016 and 2021, the most common case was AML management, with 124 cases. The next top three were, suspicious activity monitoring, customer due diligence and compliance monitoring and oversight, with 98, 94 and 57 cases, respectively.

Kroll managing director Claire Simm said, “The figures show that investigations were not paused for COVID-19. 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.”

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