Increased Regulatory Expectations Is Greatest Compliance Challenge for AML

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By Yin Wilczek

March 20 — Increased regulatory expectations are the greatest compliance challenge in the anti-money laundering (AML) sphere, a new report finds.

According to a poll conducted by Dow Jones Risk & Compliance and the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS), almost two-thirds—62 percent—of compliance and AML personnnel worldwide cited them as the challenge that their organizations face.

Next in line come the lack of properly trained staff (49 percent) and insufficient or outdated technology (38 percent), the poll found.

The survey also found that going forward, increased regulatory expectations will continue in the next 12 months to be the greatest challenge, followed by the lack of adequately trained staff and the burden of additional regulations.

This is the fourth year of the bi-annual survey, released March 18. A total of 1,118 individuals from ACAMS's members responded to the poll.

‘Essential Data.'

In a release, ACAMS Executive Vice President John Byrne said the survey adds “essential data” to the AML discussion.

“We can see the continuing confusion surrounding changing regulatory expectations and the pressure financial institutions face regarding maintaining some accounts,” Byrne said. “Both points are important to developing new compliance strategies.”

After the prosecution of Commerzbank AG, officials from the Department of Justice have warned that companies must implement effective compliance programs to avoid AML and sanctions problems.

AML compliance personnel also face liability and personal fallout from enforcement actions against their firms.

Among other findings, respondents in the Dow Jones/ACAMS poll reported increased workloads, with most—72 percent—citing that the increased work comes from the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. In second place was the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, cited by 59 percent of respondents.

With respect to increased workload, 52 percent of respondents also cited the impending implementation of the European Union's Fourth Money-Laundering Directive.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yin Wilczek in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ryan Tuck at

The release and survey are available at