“Responsible Innovation” – What the coming regulation of FinTech will look like

Financial regulators balance innovation and protection Financial regulators serve two important functions for the financial system. 1. They support growth and innovation where it could improve access to finance, or the delivery of financial services or grow the economy. 2. At the same time,  they  protect consumers and society at large by supervising the financial services […]

US amends anti-money laundering law for beneficial ownership after Panama Papers, including to detect purchases of expensive real estate with illicit money

Panama Papers Driven Changes The US Treasury has announced several amendments, and proposed legislative amendments, to its anti-money laundering (“AML“) legislation in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal to tackle the disclosure of what is called “beneficial ownership.” Beneficial ownership means the beneficial, as opposed to the legal, owner of shares of a private […]

Primer on Beneficial Ownership and Numbered, Shelf and Shell Companies

Beneficial ownership … Shell companies … Shelf companies … What’s the Difference?  Since the Panama Papers, there seems to be an increasing interest in the concepts of beneficial ownership, numbered companies, shell companies and shelf companies and people use the term interchangeably but they are not the same thing. 1. Shelf Companies  A shelf company […]

UN Chief charged in money laundering bribery scheme for allegedly accepting millions in cash from Chinese casino billionaire

Former UN President Charged The former United Nations (“UN”) President of the UN General Assembly, John Ashe, the UN Deputy Ambassador, Francis Lorenzo, a Chinese foreign national billionaire, Ng Lap Seng (also known as David Ng) and two of his associates were charged in New York with various offenses over an alleged bribery scheme. Two defendants […]

‘Twitter terrorist’ a danger, says panel at ACAMS Conference

The Lawyers Weekly has a good story covering the ACAMS Conference in Toronto’s panel on terrorist financing in which we participated with FINTRAC, Standard Chartered and the OPP to discuss the risks and issues of terrorism threats in Canada. The article, available here, discusses Ontario and security concerns, as well as how FINTRAC deals with […]

In 2015, more countries become terrorist hotspots; Canada moves up ranks to become 35th in terrorism threat index; US moves up to 17th place

US and Canada move up on the terrorism threat index 2014 and thus far in 2015, have been marked by a dramatic increase in terrorist incidents and in the number of countries that have been pulled into terrorist activity and for which financial institutions have been used for terrorist financing. Western countries are becoming less […]

The FIFA scandal and why banks may be facing regulatory issues over KYC failures

FIFA Indictment against PEPs The 47-count Indictment against 14 persons employed or engaged by FIFA by the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York (“EDNY“), and their arrest may do more than shake up international soccer – it also has the potential to result in significant fines against many global banks who processed […]

France to limit cash and ‘anonymous’ transactions; introduces new law; et mobilise contre le terrorisme avec l’investissement de €736 million

€736 Million Investment in Counter-Terrorism Infrastructure Le gouvernement français a décrété une “mobilisation générale” contre le terrorisme, annonçant la création de 2,680 emplois et le déblocage de €736 millions sur trois ans. Le Premier ministre a présenté des mesures visant à mieux lutter contre les filières suspectes, notamment via internet et dans les prisons, évaluant […]

American Banker – Why banks should be concerned about hackers taking on counter terrorist financing

In case you missed it, our article in American Banker‘s Bank Think entitled “We Shouldn’t Be Relying on Hackers to Stop Terrorism Financing” can be read here. The article discusses the recent phenomena of hackers in #OpISIS taking down the websites of the Islamic State and their stated promise to go after banks engaged in […]

Quebec moves to regulate digital currency businesses

Are Bitcoin Exchanges MSBs? The Québec Government’s Authorité des Marchés Financiers (the “AMF“) today issued a News Release announcing that businesses that operate digital currency ATMs and “platforms for trading virtual currencies” must be licensed by the AMF as money services businesses (“MSB“) pursuant to the provincial Money Services Business Act (the “Act“). It also issued a […]