Global value of AML fines drops to recent low

The value of AML fines is falling as regulators turn their attention to cryptocurrency, according to a study by RegTech firm Kroll.

Its research found that the value of fines issued to financial services firms for AML failures reached a recent low of $1.6bn in 2021, which is compared to $2.2bn in 2020 and the peak of $3.3bn in 2018.

While this is dropping, regulators are imposing more fines for AML-related infringements for cryptocurrency businesses.

Some of the other findings in the report are that between 2016 and 2021, there were 142 fines for AML management, 101 for suspicious activity monitoring, 98 significant cases of customer due diligence and 60 cases of compliance monitoring and oversight.

Furthermore, the report founds there is a dominance of the US in terms of the value of fines, accounting for 36% of the global total in 2021.

The Netherlands was responsible for a high percentage of the total global AML fine volume, largely due to a $578m fine it issued a major bank, which alone represented 35% of the total value of AML fines globally.

Kroll managing director Malin Nilsson said, “In the Western world, it is almost impossible to find a major, global bank that has not been sanctioned for AML or other financial crime failings in recent years. This is reflective of the predominant focus global regulators have placed on ensuring AML measures are functioning robustly at the world’s major financial services institutions.

“Now that AML-related concerns and failings have resulted in many large banks being sanctioned, regulators are beginning to pay increased attention to other areas of financial services.”

Its findings come from its annual Global Enforcement Review 2022.

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