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…)

‘Panama Papers’ leak highlights the need for firms to review compliance structures and client relations

By: Anna Sayre, reporter SanctionsAlert.com 
Date: June 8, 2016

On April 3, 2016, an unprecedented 11.5m files were leaked from the database of one of the world’s biggest offshore law firms based in Panama: Mossack Fonseca. These documents were quickly named the Panama Papers and expose a myriad of secretive offshore structures used by individuals and companies worldwide. Reporters at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the news team to which the papers were leaked, found that some of Mossack Fonseca’s shell corporations were used for purposes such as apparent fraud and tax evasion, as well as conducting implicating numerous international economic sanctions regimes. (more…)