Between a rock and a hard place: How to ensure sanction compliance when operating a facility in a sanctions-targeted country

June 13, 2017
By Simon Hirsbrunner and Alice Lauterjung

The recently reported resignation of cement manufacturer LafargeHolcim’s CEO has thrown a spotlight on the risks of operating commercial activities in countries targeted by economic sanctions. [1] Without drawing any conclusions on the legal qualification of LafargeHolcim’s conduct in the specific circumstances, the following provides an overview of the principal issues at stake in this case. (more…)

Turkey Imposes Sanctions Against The Netherlands Amid Intensifying Diplomatic Dispute

March 14, 2017

On March 14, the Turkish government has announced diplomatic sanctions against the Netherlands. The sanctions, which suspend “high-level relations and all planned meetings “with the Netherlands, are the result of an intensifying diplomatic dispute between the two countries. The sanctions also include: a cancellation of permission for diplomatic flights by Dutch officials as well as a ban on the Dutch ambassador entering Ankara, until the Dutch government adheres to Turkish demands. (more…)

Russian ‘Mirror Trading’ Case Reveals Five Long-Running Compliance Failures at Deutsche Bank

March 9, 2017
By: Anna Sayre, Legal Content Writer, SanctionsAlert.com

On January 30, 2017, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), NY’s financial watchdog, as well as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), financial services regulator in the UK,ordered Deutsche Bank to pay $425 million and £163 million, respectively, for violations of anti-money laundering regulations and continual, wide spread compliance failures. The so-called ‘mirror trading” scheme, involving the German lender’s Moscow, London and New York offices,resulted in $10 billion being transferred out of Russia. (more…)

The Increasing Importance of Sanctions Compliance and How To Stay One Step Ahead on Your OFAC Examinations

February 15, 2017
By: Anna Sayre, Legal Content Writer, SanctionsAlert.com

Today, staying compliant with the continually changing breadth of sanctions regulations and laws is no easy task. Sanctions, regulated, among other agencies, by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), continue to pose an increasing risk in terms of number and complexity.Though it is now quite common for a financial institution to have a Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) program, compliance professionals are recognizing the growing need for an OFAC risk assessment and compliance program as well. In a recent poll conducted by Sanctions Alert, when attendees were asked if the OFAC portion of the BSA/AML examination conducted by federal bank regulators was more important, less important or the same as compared to 5 years ago, a whopping 75% said that the OFAC portion of the assessment had become more important. (more…)

Faulty sanctions screening software can lead to fine, underscoring need to have appropriate tools in place

December 5, 2016
By Santosh Talada*

The increased complexity of sanctions coupled with an ever-increasing number of blacklisted entities has made it hard for financial institutions and corporations to keep track of and monitor clients and partners. Even when using automated watch list filtering tools to catch transactions and business dealings with sanctioned entities, costly mistakes can be made as enforcement actions have shown. (more…)