08 Sep 2023
Welcome to this week’s AML Roundup. In our anti-money laundering news this week, the FCA’s Sarah Pritchard outlines some of the ongoing financial crime risks to a London audience. Spotify deny their streaming service is being used by criminal gangs to launder money and new research points to the university sector as being vulnerable to money laundering.
We’ve news on how after major AML/CFT failings, the IMF is seeing improvements in the Nordic-Baltic region and how separate surveys are showing strong growth for ESG investing internationally.
In crypto news, the IMF and FSB coordinate their regulatory approach and we have details on an interview with a senior policy analyst at the FATF who discusses the challenges of applying money laundering rules to crypto.
To complete this week’s Roundup, we provide you with further money laundering, fraud, corruption and bribery updates from around the world. In addition, the latest sanctions news as the FCA finds deficiencies in the way financial services firms are applying sanctions controls.
Money Laundering, Fraud & Corruption
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) executive director speaks at London financial crime conference
Sarah Pritchard FCA’s Markets and Executive Director International, spoke on the topic of financial crime and called out firms for trying to “outsource risk calibration to a third party and palm off all responsibility for keeping on top of it”.
Spotify hits back at report that claims Swedish criminal gangs use streaming service as ‘Money Laundering ATM’
Spotify has criticised a report in Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) that says it has uncovered criminal gangs are using Spotify to launder money. The gangs would pay for false streams of songs published by people with whom they have connections. Spotify would then pay them for the streams, effectively laundering the money. A Spotify spokesperson said: “It is our belief that this story, full of anonymised sources, is largely a work of fiction.” SvD is standing by its reporting.
New research points to money laundering vulnerabilities in universities
Cardiff University research points to possible money laundering vulnerabilities faced by universities and their students. Universities are not explicitly included within the UK’s money laundering, terrorist financing and transfer of funds regulations.
IMF publishes analysis on AML/CFT supervision for the Nordic-Baltic region
Recent high-profile money laundering cases in the region have attracted international scrutiny of AML/CFT supervision practices. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published its latest analysis of the threats and vulnerabilities in the Nordic-Baltic region and it shows significant improvements. In addition, the IMF have published a blog on the risk money laundering poses to financial sector stability.
UAE launches AML/CFT website
The Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing (EO AML/CFT) has this week launched its website. It’s part of the EO ATL/CFT’s drive to transparency, information sharing and collaboration in the fight against financial crime. It’s expected to be a valuable resource for businesses in the country.
Legislation, Regulation and Sustainability
Surveys from BNP Paribas and Barclays shows strong support for ESG among global investors
ESG investing is growing in importance for global institutional investors according to surveys released by BNP Paribas and Barclays. BNP Paribas’s survey shows increased commitment towards net zero in their organisations with those calling it a priority up from 18% in 2021 to 41% in 2023.
Gaming and Gambling
UAE establishes gambling regulator
The United Arab Emirates has established its new gambling regulator the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA). It’s tasked with creating the country’s regulatory framework for national lottery and commercial gaming.
Crypto & Virtual Assets
IMF and FSB coordinate their crypto regulation response
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) have joined forces to present a coordinated approach to regulating crypto assets and mitigating global financial risks.
Senior analyst at Financial Action Task Force (FATF) interviewed on why the crypto ecosystem needs to implement anti-corruption rules
Tom Neylan, senior policy analyst at the FATF has spoken about the challenges of applying money laundering rules to crypto.
Financial exchanges unsure on how to capitalise on crypto
A report from the London-based World Federation of Exchanges shows that many exchanges still have no plans to offer the asset class citing concerns over a lack of uniform regulatory standards, market volatility and cybersecurity risks.
FCA survey finds deficiencies in applying sanctions controls
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published details of its assessment of financial services firms and their application of sanctions controls. It says many still lack adequate resources to ensure effective sanctions screening. The FCA points to Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures found to be lacking. “We have continued to find instances of low quality CDD and KYC assessments and backlogs,” they say.
RiskScreen AML spotlight report
AML Vulnerabilities in Gaming and Gambling
Gaming and gambling companies risk getting caught in a pincer movement. On the one hand, criminal groups are eyeing the potential opportunities afforded by the industry to launder the proceeds of wrongdoing, particularly as online gambling has boomed. On the other, regulators, alert to this danger, are increasingly cracking down on companies judged to have fallen short on anti-money laundering (AML) standards.
In this industry report, we look at:
– Where gambling and gaming companies face AML risks
– The regulatory environment
– How to ensure compliance with AML
Download this valuable compliance analysis here.
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