Regulatory News and Alerts Digest March 2017

  • By Securefact Team
  • April 4, 2017 - 15:00

A 60 day snapshot of news related to financial regulation and compliance both domestic and abroad.

CANADA

FINTRAC provides Amendments to regulations under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA).

This guidance provides information about certain amendments to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Regulations (the Regulations) which were made in June 2016. Some of the regulatory changes came into force in June 2016, while others will come into force in June 2017.

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Fintrac to review penalty program and public disclosure policies with Finance Canada

Fintrac to work with Finance Canada to review the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act legislation in relation to their penalty program. They will also examine their administrative monetary penalty policies to ensure, among other things, that they strike an appropriate balance between the need for transparency and the requirements of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.

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RELATED: For alerts as they happen, check in with Regulatory News.

UNITED STATES

FinCEN Renews Real Estate “Geographic Targeting Orders” to Identify High-End Cash Buyers in Six Major Metropolitan Areas

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced the renewal of existing Geographic Targeting Orders (GTO) that temporarily require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used to pay “all cash” for high-end residential real estate in six major metropolitan areas.

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FinCEN Penalizes California Bank for Egregious Violations of Anti-Money Laundering Laws

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced the assessment of a $7 million civil money penalty (CMP) against Merchants Bank of California of Carson, CA for willful violations of several provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). The OCC simultaneously assessed a $1 million CMP against Merchants for these violations.

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FinCEN Fines Western Union Financial Services, Inc. for Past Violations of Anti-Money Laundering Rules In Coordinated Action with DOJ and FTC

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has assessed a $184 million civil money penalty today against Western Union Financial Services, Inc. (WUFSI) for willfully violating the Bank Secrecy Act’s anti-money laundering (AML) requirements by failing to implement and maintain an effective, risk-based AML program and by failing to file timely suspicious activity reports (SARs).  

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Draft Bill For New German Anti-Money Laundering Law Approved

The German Federal Government Cabinet approved the draft for a revised law on the combat of Money Laundering (AML) and Terrorism Financing (CTF) (“Geldwäschegesetz – GwG”). The draft seeks transposing the EU-Directive 2015/849 against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (4th EU AML-Directive) into German law by June 2017.

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Sweden Targets Tax Avoiders With ‘Beneficial Owner’ Registry

A new registry targeting money launderers and tax avoiders will oblige most Swedish legal entities to provide details identifying who ultimately owns or controls them.  The registry is part of the Swedish Finance Ministry’s plans to implement the European Union’s updated Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, or MLD4 (2016/0208) into domestic law. This will oblige all EU member states to store identities of the beneficial owners of companies in a central database.

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RELATED: The State of Beneficial Ownership in Canada

Cayman Beneficial ownership platform on track for June deadline

Following the passage of three legislative amendment bills last week, Cayman will establish a centralized beneficial ownership platform by the June 2017 deadline agreed to with the U.K., government officials said in a media roundtable on Monday.  The amendments to the Companies Law, the Companies Management Law and the Limited Liabilities Companies Law define beneficial ownership and enable the creation of a corporate registry that is accessible by U.K. law enforcement and tax authorities.

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New UK anti money laundering watchdog OPBAS to be set up by 2018

The UK Government is set to get tougher on money laundering and criminal financing activities by creating new watchdog the ‘Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision’ (OPBAS).  The body will act alongside the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as the government seeks to introduce new, stricter money laundering regulations to meet global finance standards.

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Various members of the Securefact team contributed to this post.