10 formal AML/CFT warnings issued by FMA
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has issued formal warnings to 10 reporting entities under Section 80 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act (AML/CFT Act).
The FMA carried out a risk-based assessment of independent audit reports for reporting entities it supervises in February this year, targeting 69 reporting entities. The FMA supervises around 800 reporting entities, of whom roughly two-thirds define themselves as financial advisers.
Following this review, the FMA issued:
• Five formal warnings to reporting entities for failing to have their risk assessment and AML/CFT programme audited every two years
• Five formal warnings to reporting entities who had their risk assessment and AML/CFT programme audited, but where the audit was not done in a timely manner, occurring months after its due date
• 14 further desk based reviews and four monitoring visits will be carried out in response to this work.
The FMA also issued a compliance letter to one additional reporting entity requesting follow up action by the entity.
The entities involved are all either small businesses or individuals and naming the entities involved would be a disproportionate penalty given the nature of the issues involved.
The FMA has previously said it expects to see more robust AML/CFT policies and procedures in place, given that AML/CFT laws have been in force for more than five years.