Enforcement Actions in a Covid Climate

A Global Research Report on Financial Institution Fines and Enforcement Actions

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Global Financial Institution Penalties on the Decline in 2021

In 2021, fines for non-compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Know your Customer (KYC) and data privacy regulations against the financial sector totalled $5.4 billion, a decrease of 49% from 2020.

Key findings include:

  • APAC regulators issued a total of $718.6 million in enforcement actions to financial institutions in 2021 down 86% from 2020
  • EMEA saw a 244% increase in the value of financial penalties from just over $1 billion in 2020 to $3.4 billion in 2021
  • North America had a sharp decline in enforcement actions during the 2021 calendar year, down 73% from 2020
  • Globally, approx. 16 employees were fined $16.5 million for their role in AML-related compliance breaches
  • Regulators in Latin America fined financial institutions $14.3 million, up 46% from 2020

Enforcement Actions for AML Breaches vs
Illicit Funds Laundered from Criminal Activity

Since the financial crash in 2007, an estimated $52 billion in enforcement actions has been levied to financial institutions and individuals for non-compliance with AML, data privacy and MiFID compliance violations. This is a mere drop in the ocean when compared to the estimated $2.4 trillion* in illicit cash that flows through the financial system each year.
– (Source World Economic Forum)

Global AML Enforcement Action Total vs Dirty Money Laundered

Source: World Economic Forum

Global Enforcement Actions by Type

Discover the total value of fines by type

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Global Enforcement
Actions by Region

There was a dramatic drop in the total global value of enforcement actions in 2021, the lowest since 2018 according to our research. Contributing factors include the impact of lockdowns during the pandemic when regulators couldn’t carry out on-site investigations and a lower number of multi-billion-dollar enforcement actions as a result of high-profile money-laundering scandals.

Discover the total value of fines by region 

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Major Enforcement Actions by Regulator

The regulatory repercussions from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal continued to impact financial institutions in 2021 and is behind the highest value fine issued in Malaysia.

Major Enforcement Actions by Regulator APAC.

  • APAC
  • EMEA
  • LATAM
  • NAM
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Delve into Fenergo’s 2021 enforcement actions analysis
and discover how the industry can adhere to regulatory compliance in over 100 jurisdictions and better detect and prevent financial crime.

AML Fines Report Brochure

View our 2021 Global Enforcement Actions Webinar

View a recording of our webinar about our research findings with Graham Barrow from The Dark Money Files, Jeremy Kuester, Counsel at White & Case and formerly Deputy Associate Director for the Policy Division at FinCEN, and Rachel Woolley, Global Director of Financial Crime at Fenergo.

Fenergo´s Regulatory Expertise

Fenergo is the leading provider of digital transformation, customer journey and client lifecycle management (CLM) solutions for financial institutions. Fenergo is recognised for its in-depth financial services and regulatory expertise (from a team of over 30 global regulatory specialists), community-based approach to product development and out-of-the-box rules engine which ensures financial institutions are future-proofed against evolving Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money-Laundering (AML), tax and OTC derivatives-based regulations across 100 jurisdictions.