Financial firms around the world were ordered to pay $36bn in total due to failing to comply with legislation set up to prevent money laundering and fraud.
That is according to a new study from Fenergo, the RegTech company. The report also noted that the penalties for anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) violations had increased by 160% in the last 15 months.
The researchers noted that 12 of the world’s top 50 banks were fined for non-compliance with AML, KYC and sanctions violations in 2019.
Taking a closer look at individual countries, it found that Switzerland was the biggest offender after a tier one Swiss bank received the biggest single fine at $5.1bn for AML breaches by the French Criminal Court.
Italian banks were the second biggest offenders in 2019, racking up almost $1.5bn in total fines for sanctions violations and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) breaches.
“The rise in financial crime and increasing regulation is creating a tough battleground for financial institutions trying to stay on top of a multitude of regulatory rules across different jurisdictions,” said Marc Murphy, CEO of Fenergo. “We are still seeing the ramifications from the financial crisis.
“In today’s climate there is no other option but to leverage next generation technology to achieve a more effective and streamlined approach to regulation that allows financial institutions to approach regulatory compliance in a ‘business as usual’ manner. This will leave room for more value-add tasks that will achieve competitive edge in the race to win on customer experience.”
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