How to Protect Your Business from Money Laundering Activities?
Today, having anti-money laundering processes in place is more than a matter of smart business. In most jurisdictions, it is also a legal necessity.
Organisations large and small are at risk of falling prey to unscrupulous business dealings and other threats posed by seemingly legitimate business partners. Governments and regulatory agencies are now placing the responsibility of avoiding these pitfalls on the owners and directors of the organisations themselves.
Take Citibank, for example. The banking giant has been fined $70 million in the U.S. “for failing to address shortcomings in its anti-money laundering policies.” According to an article by Reuters, titled “Citibank fined $70 million for anti-money laundering compliance shortcomings” (2018):
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency fined the bank in late December and announced it on Thursday. The regulator assessed the civil penalty because the bank had failed to address concerns it had first flagged in 2012.
The case is notable because it isn’t linked to a specific new allegation of money laundering per se. It is the alleged lack of compliance and efforts to enhance prevention policies that placed Citibank in hot water (you can read additional commentary on this case in the Bloomberg opinion piece).
Citibank isn’t alone. Western Union just settled a case for nearly as much ($60 million) for allegedly failing to deter and report transactions related to money laundering. Rather than the federal government, this settlement is with the New York Dept. of Financial Services. According to an article by Reuters, titled “Western Union settles New York money laundering probe for $60 million” (2018):
DFS alleged that from 2004 to 2012, Western Union failed to implement and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program aimed to deter criminals’ use of its electronic network to facilitate fraud and money laundering.
The regulator said senior Western Union executives and managers also ignored suspicious transactions to Chinese Western Union locations by several high-volume agents, including money transfers linked to human trafficking.
DFS Superintendent Maria Vullo said in a statement Western Union’s executive “put profits ahead of the company’s responsibilities to detect and prevent money laundering and fraud.”
CRI Group can help
The best way to prevent and detect money laundering is to have a robust set of anti-money laundering (AML) processes in place. CRI Group’s Investigative Due Diligence services provide clients with the specialised intelligence needed to guarantee complete compliance with anti-money laundering regulations and AML legislation involving trans-national implications.
The impact of not remaining in compliance can be severe, and might include the following:
- Damaged corporate reputation and brand devaluation
- Eroded employee moral
- Potential consumer boycotts
- Negative investor perceptions
- Possible legal action
- Fines and potential jail terms for directors
Anti-money laundering laws and regulations are constantly being strengthened as governments come under pressure to protect their economy and taxpayers from the damage caused by this widespread crime. Today, organisations must be diligent in protecting themselves, their investments, their reputations – and they must be fully compliant with the law. Contact CRI Group and be better protected against the risks of money laundering today.
Who is CRI Group?
Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business Intelligence, Due Diligence, Compliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.
In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.