Over the past year, there has been an increased focus on Broker-Dealer Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) programs. Last month, Kevin Goodman, National Associate Director of the Broker-Dealer Examination Program in the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”), spoke at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association about the “critical importance of broker-dealers’ anti-money laundering programs”.
In his speech, Mr. Goodman discussed the following topics:
- Significance of AML
- AML Requirements
- AML Compliance Program
- Customer Identification Program
- Detecting and Reporting Suspicious Activity
- OCIE’s AML Examination Initiatives
Mr. Goodman also addressed areas that OCIE finds to be of particular AML concern, which includes: (i) trading activity of low priced securities, (ii) providing certain clients with direct market access, (iii) monitoring and reporting on master/sub-accounts, and (iv) SAR monitoring of brokerage accounts with “comprehensive asset management” or “cash management” features. To read the full speech, click here.
Some important takeaways from this speech that Chief Compliance Officers should consider are:
- Ensure your firm’s AML program meets all requirements under both the Bank Secrecy Act and FINRA Rule 3310
- Review current AML policies and procedures to ensure they are designed to identify all AML risks associated with your firm’s business practices
- Determine if testing protocols are robust and include the OCIE concern areas, as applicable.
- Consider having the required AML audits performed by an independent third party at least every other year.
Read our latest article, featured in the NSCP Currents for more information.
Core Compliance can help firms with the performance of independent AML and regulatory mock audits. For more information on this and other related subjects, please contact us at (619) 278-0020 to schedule a consultation.