In the US, FinCEN and other agencies have engaged in vigorous AML enforcement against financial institutions over the past several years.  In February 2018, FinCEN prohibited the opening or maintaining of a correspondent account in the United States for or on behalf of ABLV Bank of Latvia.  And in the same month, the DOJ, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and FinCEN announced $613 million in penalties against U.S. Bancorp and its subsidiary, U.S. Bank N.A. for violations of the BSA.  By mid-2018, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency had initiated fifteen AML enforcement cases, triple the number of cases brought during 2017.  Over that one-year period, total penalties increased from $1 million to $137.9 million.

In the UK, the FCA has issued substantial fines against UK financial institutions for failure to maintain an adequate anti-money laundering control framework. For example, in 2017, the FCA fined Deutsche Bank £163m.  In other cases, the FCA has imposed restrictions such as preventing a firm from accepting deposits from new customers for a specified period of time.

In France, the DPA-like procedure (called Judicial Convention of Public Interest or “CJIP”) is available for money laundering offenses committed by legal entities (as opposed to individuals) only where they relate to tax fraud (Art. 41-1-2 of the French Criminal Procedure Code).

In France, AML enforcement is increasing. For example, in November 2017, HSBC Private Bank, indicted for complicity in laundering tax fraud and unlawful solicitation of French residents as a legal entity, agreed to pay a fine of EUR 300 million in order to avoid a trial. The bank signed the first public interest judicial agreement (CJIP). In January 2019, the ACPR imposed a fine of EUR 1 million against a payment institution (Western Union Payment Services Ireland Limited) providing money remittance services through agents in France for non-compliance with requirements in relation to initial due-diligence measures, enhanced due diligence measures, reinforced due diligence measures and reporting of suspicious transactions. In February 2019, the Paris Criminal Court sentenced UBS to a record EUR 3.7 billion fine and EUR 800 million in damages for illegal solicitation of banking products and aggravated tax fraud money-laundering. In August 2019, the former head of HSBC’s Swiss subsidiary accepted, in an ‘Appearance in Court Following Prior Guilty Plea’ (CRPC), the PNF’s proposed one year suspended prison sentence and a EUR 500,000 fine for complicity in laundering tax fraud and unlawful solicitation of French residents.

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