When it comes to the media, anti-money laundering schemes make for a great story. Television dramas display gangsters and mob bosses with an intricate web of lackeys at their disposal for complex wire transfers. Many consumers are aware of these types of schemes through thrilling, award-winning shows like Breaking Bad or Weeds. It is the final step in order to use money stolen from a bank robbery or a high-stakes drug deal.
Anti-money laundering schemes are also present in the mortgage industry. As a financial services provider, anti-money laundering schemes are detrimental to your business. Anti-money laundering revolves around deceit; tricking your staff into believing that the real source of the money was legitimate. Money laundering is a serious crime with federal convictions carrying sentences of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000, according to Pate Law Firm. Criminals that take that kind of risk do not make great customers.
If you are a financial institution, you are accountable for any anti-money laundering activity that takes place at your business. When high-profile criminal cases take place, they can link your organization to criminal activity involving a drug cartel, global terrorist organizations, and it can lead to large, expensive settlements. Not to mention the cost of the resources required to address these types of cases, the loss of productivity of staff, reputational damages, etc.
So, how can financial institutions avoid anti-money laundering?
►Find out if your organization is required to follow the laws set in place by the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).
►To find out more information about the companies required to comply with the BSA, visit the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network at www.fincen.gov/financial_institutions/msb/amimsb.html.
If you are required to follow the BSA, it’s time to get compliant. You can do that in a few ways.
►You must satisfy annual requirements for anti-money laundering training.
►Get a policy in place quickly to cover all aspects of the BSA.
►Finally, work with the experts to make sure your bases are covered with ongoing training, tracking, and implementation of compliance procedures.
►Training: According to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), training needs to be ongoing, include your own policies/procedure/processes, but also be applicable to your staff’s specific responsibilities.
►Tracking and implementation: If you are facing a BSA examination, you will need to ensure that you have a comprehensive compliance program. You will need to keep track of your policies and procedures. It is also recommended that you conduct independent testing or an audit every 12-18 months for banking institutions.
Melissa Hruza is a marketing and communications specialist for AllRegs. AllRegs has a variety of resources to help meet your company’s anti-money laundering needs, including turnkey policy manuals, training, tracking and implementation resources, and even a free online course to get you started. Visit http://answers.allregs.com/free-aml-course to register for the free course. Or, learn more about AllRegs and the full suite of products and services at www.allregs.com today or call (800) 848-4904.