Compliance Alert

Compliance Alert Overview June 2011(click here for .ppsx file)
What added value, can Compliance Alert add to my business-structure?
Our practical approach to compliance is always tailored to the needs of your business. And our deep experience with compliance reporting ensures that your compliance program is designed and implemented efficiently without disruption to your current operations.

As a professional body, we provide a full range of services that help you meeting regulatory requirements by using a proactive approach, largely to financial sector, companies and compliance professionals, we offer full service assistance to foreign financial institutions to ensure an effective FATCA compliance...

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South Africa fines top four banks over anti-money laundering controls

South Africa’s Reserve Bank said on Wednesday it had fined the country’s top four banks a total of 125 million rand ($12 million) over lax anti-money laundering controls. The central bank said in a statement it had fined the South African unit of Barclays Africa Group 10 million rand, FirstRand 30 million rand, Nedbank 25 million rand and market leader Standard Bank 60 million rand.

“The administrative sanctions are not an indication that the banks in question have in any way facilitated transactions involving money laundering and the financing of terrorism,” the central bank said.

Standard Bank and Nedbank said they were taking remedial measures to strengthen their controls, in an industry that is already seen as well regulated...

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A day in the life of an AML officer: Certification of documents

Martin Woods

Martin Woods
The Joint Money Laundering Steering Group Guidance Notes are 25 years old next year. There has been plenty of evolution but if you could take out one piece of guidance what would it be, and why? I would remove the requirement for certification of documents and here is why.

In 2005, I met the then Financial Services Authority, the City of London Police fraud squad and the Metropolitan Police fraud squad and asked the question: “What is the value of certification to detectives?”

Initially, there was silence but since it was me doing the talking I did not allow it to last too long and modified the question as follows...

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New International Regulatory Rules & Regulations April 15, 2014

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) (collectively, the agencies) are adopting a final rule that strengthens the agencies’ supplementary 2 leverage ratio standards for large, interconnected U.S. banking organizations (the final rule).

The final rule applies to any U.S. top-tier bank holding company (BHC) with more than $700 billion in total consolidated assets or more than $10 trillion in assets under custody (covered

To G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

I reported in February on the priorities, agreed by G20 Leaders in St...

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This is the location of tens of billions of dollars that won’t be declared to the IRS today

Today is tax day in the United Sates, and most Americans pay their fair share without a peep. Some of the folks that aren’t playing ball keep their money in offshore accounts to dodge taxes and then invest it back in the US, and for the first time we have an estimate for how much: Some $34 billion to $109 billion, at least in 2008.

We’re talking about “round-tripping,” a fairly common technique in the world of tax evasion: Send your money to a shell company overseas in a low-tax country, then reinvest in your home country while avoiding taxes and perhaps garnering special treatment designed to attract foreign investment...
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The challenges of vendor compliance

Overseeing the compliance of vendors to a financial institution is a complex task amid a trend toward outsourcing that shows no sign of abating. For financial institutions outsourcing generates many challenges and added risks which are not normally managed or remedied in the same way as internal activities.

Vendor compliance usually refers to the process of ensuring that the financial institution’s vendors have the requisite certifications, insurance, and authorizations to provide financial institutions with goods or services. Vendor compliance might also refer to the process of making certain that the vendors are complying with the current contracts, within the agreed service and resources qualitative/quantitative measurements.

The U.S...

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Long-awaited customer due diligence AML rule under review by White House

A proposed rule aimed at requiring banks, broker-dealers and others to do more to determine who is behind accounts belonging to corporations and other legal entities cleared the Treasury Department’s interagency process and came under review by the White House on Friday. Still, it is likely to be at least 90 days before the proposal is aired publicly, sources familiar with the proposal said.

Details of the long-awaited proposal – which one Treasury official had said would be released for public comment more than a year ago – remain unavailable. One of the many questions that remain is whether financial institutions will be required to simply request information from account holders or if they will also have to verify the responses.

This rule-making process, underway since early 2012, ...

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Account takeovers are big cybersecurity risk for advisers

A recent cybersecurity roundtable hosted by the Securities and Exchange Commission should act as a call to action for investment advisers, as the threat of cyber attacks is high for all companies and increasing daily, say event panelists.

Investment advisers, whether small or midsize, are not immune from these attacks and now is a good time to recognize the firm’s risks, review available guidance, hone formal policies and procedures, and preparing for an imminent SEC exam module concerning cybersecurity.

David Tittsworth’s, executive director of the Investment Adviser Association, gave the roundtable an overview of the cybersecurity risks often seen in the adviser community. A traditional adviser or investment manager’s top risk is account takeover...

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UK Bribery Act more concerning than FCPA owing to its complexity

The UK Bribery Act (2010) should be a much greater concern for compliance officers than the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (1977), due to its complexity, comprehensiveness and subtleties, said an industry official.

“Everyone that talks about anti-corruption talks about the FCPA, because it has been around the longest and everyone knows about it. But at the same time, from an international point of view, I would pay more attention to the UK Bribery Act,” said Markus Schulz, GE Capital’s chief compliance officer in London. “The reason is because the UK Bribery Act is much more complex and detailed than the FCPA, which has loopholes that the Bribery Act has closed.”

For example, facilitation payments to expedite matters to cut through bureaucratic red tape in certain countries are ...

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Tax dodging: George Osborne plans to strengthen criminal law

George Osborne

George Osborne during the IMF/World Bank 2014 Spring Meetings in Washington Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

George Osborne is planning to make it easier to impose jail terms or heavy fines on British residents using offshore tax havens to cheat the exchequer out of billions in revenue.

The chancellor, who is in Washington at the International Monetary Fund’s spring meeting, has drafted a criminal offence of failing to declare offshore income as he steps up a long-running campaign to crack down on tax dodging.

At present, HMRC has to prove a British resident has deliberately sent funds abroad to dodge tax. The need to prove intent has undermined several prosecutions and allowed those under investigation to escape with only light fines, Treasury officials said.

HMRC estimates £5bn a ye...

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The future of cash? It’s all in the data

back of one dollar note 2

This paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond uses transaction-level data from a large discount chain together with zip-code-level explanatory variables to learn about consumer payment choices across size of transaction, location, and time.

With three years of data from thousands of stores across the country, the authors identify important economic and demographic effects; weekly, monthly, and seasonal cycles in payments, as well as time trends and significant state-level variation that is not accounted for by the explanatory variables.The research uses the estimated model to forecast how the mix of consumer payments will evolve and to forecast future demand for currency...
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