BSA/AML Systems Survivor

Imagine two scenarios. In the first, you fly to a beautiful, remote island for a carefree week at an exclusive and all-inclusive resort. You spend the week soaking up sun on the beach, enjoying fine dining, and snorkeling in the crystal clear water. Now for scenario two. Same beautiful island, but this time, there’s no resort, no gourmet chefs, and no king size bed. In fact, there’s nobody but you. This time you’re stranded. Despite your circumstances, you’re still able to appreciate the beauty of Continue reading →

How to Optimize Your AML System (Without Hiring Sherlock)

One of the defining characteristics of Sherlock Holmes (besides the deerstalker hat and overcoat) is his almost superhuman powers of deduction. In the first Sherlock novel, A Study in Scarlet, Holmes says, “From a drop of water, a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other.” In every Sherlock story since, Sherlock does indeed turn tiny, seemingly insignificant details into solved crimes. Now, if you’re tasked with evaluating a Bank Secrecy Act Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) system, you might Continue reading →

New York’s 504: BSA/AML Requirements You May Want to Start Wearing

If you’re a fashion fanatic and you want to get a jump on what will be hot next season, you’d probably want to look to the current fashion trends in New York. After all, New York, New York is known as one of the fashion capitals of the world. Now, if you’re in charge of BSA/AML compliance at your financial institution, your regulators will not be amused if you’re behind on anti-money laundering efforts, even if your compliance team looks ready to walk the runway. They’ll Continue reading →

Validation: The Pièce de Résistance of Anti-money Laundering

Originally published on CUInsight.com. Even the best kitchen in the world—equipped with a brick oven, top-of-the-line equipment, and the sharpest knives—can’t turn a bad cook into a great one (even though it could help). The substandard cook still needs to learn some critical cooking skills before the dream kitchen can produce the pièce de résistance. So it makes sense that even the best anti–money laundering (AML) monitoring system in the world—perfectly optimized with no expense spared for the most current technology and automation—can’t guarantee effective Continue reading →

Hey Batter Batter, Swing! Good Training Practices for AML Monitoring

Spring training for Major League Baseball is long over, the regular season is winding down, and playoffs will soon be upon us. Over the course of a long season, the teams that spent their time during spring training actually training and preparing frequently find that it makes the difference between being a playoff contender and an also-ran. In a similar fashion, efforts to thoroughly validate an anti-money laundering system can pay off in the long run. How do you achieve a strong AML system? Here are four Continue reading →

Basketballs and Waterfalls: Optimizing Your AML System

A version of this post was originally published on CU Insight. Congratulations! You’ve just been made head coach of a major college basketball team and are now responsible for improving their ranking. All anyone will tell you is the number of wins and losses from last year. Based on this information alone, you have one mission: improve the team. Can you do it? Probably not (unless you’re Coach K). The problem is that while the number of wins and losses is important information about a team, Continue reading →

FinCEN’s Top 3 Money Laundering Concerns

The fight against money laundering and terrorist financing in the U.S. is an ongoing and evolving battle. That’s why every year FinCEN produces a new National Money Laundering Risk Assessment from the Department of the Treasury. In an analysis of more than 5,000 law enforcement cases and financial reports from both the private and government sectors, the 2015 Risk Assessment exposes trouble spots and emerging trends all financial institutions should analyze. The global dominance of the U.S. dollar generates trillions of dollars of daily transaction volume Continue reading →

Three Steps to Give Your AML Validation a Tune-Up

This post was originally published by CU Insight. Everyone who drives a car knows that the cost of ownership doesn’t end when you walk out of the dealership with the keys in your hand. Cars require constant care and tuning up (not to mention that dreaded emissions test every year). Similarly, your anti-money laundering (AML) system can’t be merely turned on and then left to its own devices. These systems also require constant care and tuning up in the form of validation and optimization. As I’ve Continue reading →

The Secret BSA/AML Weapons of Smaller Financial Institutions (Part 2)

The ever-increasing importance of a robust BSA/AML monitoring system has become more than clear in recent years. However, an all-encompassing monitoring system often feels beyond the reach of the smaller financial institution. Resources are finite, and some institutions are left floundering when attempting to cover all their bases. What must your small financial institution do to determine whether its BSA/AML monitoring system is as sound as those applied by their far larger counterparts? In Part 1 of this two-part post, we discussed the first secret weapon vital Continue reading →

The Secret BSA/AML Weapons of Smaller Financial Institutions (Part 1)

The ever-increasing importance of a robust BSA/AML monitoring system has become more than clear in recent years. However, an all-encompassing monitoring system often feels beyond the reach of the smaller financial institution. Resources are finite, and some institutions are left floundering when attempting to cover all their bases. What must your small financial institution do to determine whether its BSA/AML monitoring system is as sound as those applied by their far larger counterparts? In this two-part blog post, we’ll break down two essential elements that smaller financials Continue reading →