The National Money Transmitters Association

The NMTA's Daily News Clippings

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Dear Readers,

Our Top Story "Big US banks to push for easing of money laundering rules" was very interesting.

Could this be the opening we have been waiting for? The burden of initiating SARs can never be shifted in the way described. Also, the Clearing House knows that AML supervision of international banks will never pass to FinCEN, no matter how many virtues the notion has.

Yet this represents a bold ask. I like the audacity of it. It pushes open some room for less radical, more reasonable proposals.

This sort of reform is needed. Yes, we need expectations to change and simplified procedures. But this coming proposal will be seen as a loosening of controls, soft on money laundering and letting banks off the hook and so, will never come to pass.

Remember, please, no reform legislation will ever pass if it looks like it is net soft on money laundering. To make any proposal palatable, we need to reform how we regulate non-banks, nationwide.

What if FinCEN and the banks truly were allowed to rely on government inspections of non-banks, governed by a uniform set of standards under the administration of one agency?

If it were expanded internationally, this approach might go a long way toward addressing the Correspondent Banking problem, as well.

Here are some relevant quotes from the article:

"The bank lobby waited for Trump to take office in the hope that a new administration will see the money laundering regulations through "a new set of eyes," said one person involved in writing the proposal. Watchdog groups balk at the idea that the regulations could be loosened in any way.

"Even if controls were loosened at the federal level, state regulators such as the New York Department of Financial Services may not let banks alter course. Just last month, the New York regulator imposed a new anti-terrorism regulation requiring banks to beef up suspicious activity reporting. The New York regulator declined to comment for this story."

And now, please enjoy today's Clippings!

Regards,

-David

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Top Story - Is a Door Opening to Reverse the Denial of Banking Services?

Big US banks to push for easing of money laundering rules
[Essay - Opinion] - Feb 16, 2017 - CNBC.Com - America's largest banks are to propose a complete overhaul of how financial institutions investigate and report potential criminal activity, arguing that rules imposed in the years after the ...

Top Story - Europe

New Requirements for Beneficial Ownership Register- Action Required
Feb 16, 2017 - Lexology.Com - The European Union (Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership of Corporate Entities) Regulations 2016 (S.I No. 560 of 2016) (the 'Regulations') impose new obligations on Irish companies and other ...

Top Story - Mexico

Top US Auditor Gives One Word Answer On Border Wall, And Trump Won't...
Feb 15, 2017 - Daily Caller.Com - Kathryn Watson - America shouldn't build a wall on its border with Mexico without conducting a cost-benefit analysis, U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro said Wednesday in a Senate Committee on Homeland ...

Also See:
[Opinion] - Feb 15, 2017 - Barrons.Com - Dimitra DeFotis

Losing Remittances Is Real Source of Mexico's Angst with Trump's ...
[Opinion] - Feb 15, 2017 - CIS.Org - Joseph J. Kolb - Last week more than 20,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Mexico City to protest the roll-out of President Donald Trump's immigration enforcement effort. A likely Mexican ...

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AML Compliance Trends

CEFLI Releases Benchmarking Survey on Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
[Survey] - Feb 16, 2017 - CEFLI.Org - CEFLI is pleased to have released a new AML Benchmarking Survey to gather feedback from compliance and ethics professionals concerning the current status of AML practices within the life insurance ...

Fincen regulation miami _ luxe real estate secret buyers
[Opinion] - Feb 15, 2017 - Financial Handbook.04p.In - Peter Zalewski - The luxury condo markets of Broward and Palm Beach counties look poised to benefit from a new anti-money laundering directive from the U.S. Money laundering red flags Treasury...

Financial authorities' lack of transparency undermines trust, NGO says
[Ongoing] - Feb 15, 2017 - Public Finance International.Org - Emma Rumney - Authorities regulating the financial sector lack transparency, creating mistrust and hampering the effectiveness of systems designed to prevent financial crime ...

Anti-Corruption

Donald Trump removes anti-corruption rules for oil and gas companies
Feb 15, 2017 - Independent.Co.Uk - Siobhan Fenton - Donald Trump has signed legislation to roll back anti-corruption rules for energy companies.While in office, President Obama introduced a number of measures designed ...

Asset Forfeiture

Sheriff opposes legislation to amend civil asset forfeiture law
Feb 15, 2017 - Wisc News.Com - Bobbye Pyke - According to Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt the civil asset forfeiture law benefits everyone except drug dealers. Civil asset forfeiture laws allow law enforcement agencies to seize assets ...

Also See:
Feb 15, 2017 - CBS Local.Com - Kristen Wyatt

Feb 15, 2017 - Fed Smith.Com - Ian Smith

Cayman Islands

Minister: No new draft of lawyers bill
Feb 15, 2017 - Cayman Compass.Com - Brent Fuller - Although the Cayman Islands government still intends to pass a version of the controversial Legal Practitioners Bill, it will not propose entirely rewritten legislation for this month's Legislative ...

CFPB

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under attack in Congress
[Opinion] - Feb 16, 2017 - Consumers Union.Org - Laura MacCleery - Senator Perdue's bill would give lawmakers control of the CFPB's budget by subjecting it to the congressional appropriations process.  Like other financial industry regulators...

Also See :
[Opinion] - Feb 15, 2017 - Reuters.Com - Julie DiMauro

[Opinion] - Feb 15, 2017 - Builder Online.Com

Consumers in cross-hairs with Dodd-Frank repeal
Feb 15, 2017 - My San Antonio.Com - Catherine Rampell - The White House may be in chaos. But at least Congress is addressing the issue Americans care about most: making it easier for the finance industry to rip them off. Last week, Jeb Hensarling...

Will the Trump administration threaten financial regulations?
[Opinion] - Feb 15, 2017 - 11 Alive.Com - Deregulation, anyone? Previous financial deregulation created "Wild West" conditions at banks, according to Senator Elizabeth Warren. Congress and the Obama administration addressed those conditions ...
Company Announcements

WorldRemit partners ZimPost for new remittance routes
Feb 16, 2017 - news day.co.zw - In a statement yesterday, WorldRemit South Africa country director, Pardon Mujakachi said they wanted to offer customers the widest and most convenient pay-out options. "Our partnership will extend ...

Fino Paytech to launch payment bank, targets high domestic remittance areas
[India] - Feb 16, 2017 - Live Mint.Com - In an attempt to expand their consumer base and carve out their own individual identity , Fino Paytech-one of the entities to receive in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)-will focus on ...

Experian Partners With Lenddo to use its Solution in Financial Inclusion efforts
Feb 15, 2017 -  Benzinga.Com - Experian, the leader in global information services, will partner with Lenddo, a leader in non-traditional data solutions, as part of Experian's Consumer Financial Inclusion Indexing platform in Indonesia ...

NBP signs home remittance agreement with U Remit
[Pakistan] - Feb 16, 2017 - Pak Observer.Net - Tremendous growth in the area of home remittances and establishment of new remittance corridors in the US, UK, Pacific and Far East calls for proactive approach and the capacity to grasp the emerging ...

Kenyan banks start PesaLink mobile transfers in next month
Feb 16, 2017 - Telecom Paper.Com - Kenyan banks are to launch a mobile cash transfer system after nearly five years of strategy planning. The platform is called PesaLink and will enable bank customers to move between KES 10 and ...

Compliance - Other

Gavel to Gavel: Focusing on FINRA priorities letter
Feb 15, 2017 - Journal Record.Com -  Robert J. Carlson - The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is an independent self-regulatory organization authorized by Congress and overseen by the Securities Exchange Commission. Its mission is ...

Fines, Crimes & Cases

Tabcorp facing $45m fine in settlement with Austrac
Feb 16, 2017 - The Australian.Com.Au - Sarah-Jane Tasker - Wagering giant Tabcorp is set to be hit with a $45 million fine in a case brought against it by Australia's financial intelligence agency. The Australian-listed company (TAH) has revealed ...

Also See:
Feb 16, 2017 - AFR.Com - Patrick Durkin

Watchdog's refusal to name Canadian bank fined $1.2M called 'unconscionable'
Feb 15, 2017 - The Star.Com - Robert Cribb , Marco Chown Oved & Bruce Livesey - Canadians were furious last April over a decision by the country's money laundering watchdog to impose an unprecedented $1.2-million fine against a Canadian bank ...

Israel

Did a little-noticed tax exemption law turn Israel into a criminals' paradise?
[Opinion] - Feb 15, 2017 - Times Of Israel.Com - Simona Weinglass - In 2008, the Knesset passed an amendment exempting new immigrants from tax on income abroad, in order to encourage aliyah. Critics say it opened the doors to tax evaders...

Malaysia

All cabinet ministers are guilty of colossal negligence
Feb 16, 2017 - Malaysia Kini.Com - All cabinet ministers are guilty of colossal negligence and irresponsibility of the first degree when they could set up a special task force to conduct a probe into Bank Negara foreign exchange market ...

Middle East

Old rules, new opportunities
[Opinion] - Feb 16, 2017 - Legal Business Online.Com - Top OFCs offer a world-class financial ecosystem, clear and strong regulatory regimes, protections for both businesses and investors as well as compliance with global standards such as AML ...

Mobile Money Transfer

Mobile money: the state of play
[Opinion] - Feb 16, 2017 - Banking Tech.Com - Alix Murphy - There are more than two billion people across the globe that don't have access to a bank account. Predominantly living in the developing world, many are reliant on remittances ...

Nigeria

Trump's protectionist policies threaten Nigeria's overseas remittances
Feb 15, 2017 - Naija 247 News.Com - Nigeria is more exposed than other Sub Saharan Africa countries to higher U.S protectionism under president Trump, according to Jean-Michel, Chief economist at Standard & Poor's for the EMEA ...

United Kingdom

Life-saving remittances smothered by anti-money-laundering laws...
Feb 16, 2017 - Financial Handbook.04p.In - It is both sad and amusing to watch members of the U.K. What does anti money laundering mean Parliament proclaim disgust with Barclays' (BARC) decision to sever relationships with money transfer ...

Advocacy Group Slams Regulators For 'Poor' AML Disclosure
[Subscription Required] - Feb 15, 2017 - Law360.Com - Paige Long - Influential anti-corruption group Transparency International has criticized the availability of anti-money laundering statistics in the U.K. as "poor" and urged financial ...

UK financial services will flourish despite Brexit challenges
Feb 15, 2017 - Tele Graph.Co.Uk - Omar Ali - Big decisions are being made in the UK's financial services industry this year and they are not all about Brexit. The regulatory agenda continues to drive massive change, not least the rules on ring ...

Virtual Currencies

North Dakota's new money transmission bill fails to define "control" of bitcoins
Feb 15, 2017 - Bani-Digitali.Ro - A clear definition of 'control' written in law-not just in guidance that can change at the discretion of a banking commissioner-has been recognized by the Uniform Law Commission to be of paramount importance ...

What if SEC approves any of the Bitcoin ETFs? The glimpse over anomalies...
Feb 16, 2017 - Econo Times.Com - Winklevoss Capital Management LLC, launched the Winklevoss Investment Trust, the first proposed bitcoin ETF more than three years ago. Consequently, as a matter of regulatory framework, the trust ...

Hong Kong FinTech, Bitcoin Market is Lagging Behind Competitors Due to...
Feb 16, 2017 - Coin Telegraph.Com -  Joseph Young - Hong Kong, which many consider as the Asian center of financial and technological development, is struggling to see consistent growth in its Fintech and Bitcoin markets...

Bitcoin trade plunges in China after tighter regulation
Feb 16, 2017 - China Daily.Com.Cn - Trading volume on China's major Bitcoin exchanges has plunged in the past week, since authorities tightened regulation of the digital currency. BTCChina, Huobi and OKCoin, the country's three major ...

Bitcoin, the Blockchain, and Freedom in Latin America
[Opinion] - Feb 15, 2017 - econlog.econlib.org - Amy Willis - Stories about Bitcoin seemed to me to be all the rage for a while, having since tapered off. (At least in my own newsfeed...) The digital currency has long been trumpeted by libertarian...

Will regulation threaten the growth of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies?
[Opinion] - Feb 16, 2017 - Financial Director.Co.Uk - Emma Smith - It is safe to say that 2017 will be the biggest yet for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The attention generated by Bitcoin's sharp increase to above the $1,000 (£800) threshold ...

How blockchain could change these five industries
[Opinion] - Feb 16, 2017 - Management Today.Co.Uk - Gideon Hyde - Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen describes blockchain, the system that underpins the digital currency Bitcoin, as 'one of the most fundamental inventions in the history ...

Blockchain - The Next Banking Blockbuster?
[Opinion] - Feb 16, 2017 - Finextra.Com - Pradeep Zaddu - "Let's not throw the baby with the bath water", is what the financial services industry seems to be saying. While they didn't quite warm up to the Bitcoin, they are clearly embracing the...

Understanding Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
[Opinion] - Feb 14, 2017 - Eastern Daily.Com - Peter Ngigi - In 2008, when the blockchain protocol was released to the public, its creator Satoshi Nakamoto, intended it to be used primarily as a means of creating currency. However, over the years...

Zimbabwe

US sanctions a crime against sovereign states
Feb 16, 2017 - Herald.Co.Zw - Sydney Kawadza - In international relations and political science, one prominent philosopher quoted on several occasions is Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the German ...

Diaspora Remittances Fall
Feb 15, 2017 - News DZE Zimbabwe.Co.Uk - Remittances from millions of non-resident Zimbabweans have become a significant contributor to the country's economy as the country remains a foreign direct investment (FDI) ...

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Editorial Note

We try to mark those stories that stray from factual reporting into the expression of opinions. Opinions expressed, including mine, are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NMTA or its members.

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