Securefact and Sentinence held an ACAMS webinar in November 2016 entitled: Enhancing AML Compliance Regimes in Money Services Business (MSB) Sectors.
Based on the current climate and daily news reports of compliance being at the forefront of banks and regulators alike, it is our recommendation that MSBs in the U.S. and Canada review, and potentially revamp, their anti-money laundering compliance regimes.
Recent regulatory changes, derisking by banks and an investigation by the U.S. Department of Treasury are some of the reasons for the recent headline news.
Potential Extinction Events
MSBs survival is threatened by recent derisking or debanking actions taken by Global Banks. In order to comply with more stringent anti-money laundering regulations, Canadian and U.S. banks are ending relationships with any business identified as, or indirectly related to, Money Service Businesses.
This was reported by Barbara Shecter of the Financial Post in her article: Sector-wide sweep: Money service firms say banks are giving them the boot. In the article, the Canadian Money Service Business Association commented that “members have had their bank accounts closed in what appears to be a ‘sector-wide sweep’, even though they are compliant with anti-money laundering rules.”
In the United States, PacNet Services Ltd., a payment processing service, used by a large number of MSBs are under investigation for international mail fraud by the U.S. Government.
The organization has been referred to by the U.S. Department of Treasury as a “significant transactional criminal organization” which has helped defraud Americans of hundreds of millions of dollars. [Source: Treasury Sanctions Individuals and Entities as Members of the Pacnet Group] CNNMoney broke the news of this action and published this investigative report: Exposed: The secret powerhouse processing millions in global fraud.
PacNet rejects these allegations, but this case has further amplified the scrutiny of MSBs by regulators and banks.
We Have a More Positive Outlook
While these recent developments are potential setbacks, by no means do they spell doom. We believe industry leaders are resilient and that there are many leading edge MSBs driving innovation in consumer financial services that continue to contribute significantly towards financial inclusion of the underbanked in the developing world. Many Canadians and Americans use MSBs to transfer funds to friends and families in their native countries.
So we’re bullish on the MSB market!
In fact, in partnership with ACAMS we held a webinar aimed at helping MSBs. The webinar was attended by over 2,800 people, worldwide. Moderated by Securefact’s Moh Datoo and presented by Angela Chartrand a member of Securefact’s Financial Crime Risk Management Network and founder of Sentinence.
The webinar entitled: Enhancing AML Compliance Regimes in MSB Sectors focused on:
- Understanding why anti-money laundering risks in the MSB sector are elevated
- Identifying areas for improvement to address the sectors’ unique challenges
- Discussing the benefits of technology solutions for effective and efficient ongoing compliance program
For a limited time Angela & Moh are offering a complimentary compliance consultation to qualified organizations. This will include:
- Initial discussion to understand the pain points in your compliance regime and advice on possible solutions
- A one-page custom summary document with potential compliance risks identified and suggested next steps for strengthening your regime
- An optional follow-up call to discuss the summary and answer specific questions
Contact us to book your consultation.
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