Kenneth Blanco, Director of the financial crime network of the United States (FinCEN), called on American banks to take the threat from cryptocurrencies seriously.
At the ACAMS virtual anti-money laundering conference, Blanco discussed the requirements for banks to implement effective anti-money laundering (AML) systems.
FinCEN rules oblige financial institutions to detect and report suspicious activities, including the use of plastic cards for money laundering, ways to evade sanctions and prohibitions, as well as other illegal activities related to Finance. However, for the management of many banks, it is still not clear how these rules relate to working with virtual currencies.
The Director of FinCEN called on banks to review their AML procedures and strengthen them, especially in relation to working with cryptocurrencies. He also said that if banks do not pay attention to these problems, “they will pay attention to the inspectors.” Blanco stressed:
“Not only exchanges are exposed to the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. These risks are typical for both financial services companies, cryptocurrency exchanges, and banks. Reviewers and FinCEN will ask you about dealing with such risks when evaluating AML procedures.”
It is worth noting that, according to a study by the financial intelligence service of Mexico, it is banks that are most often used for money laundering. Researchers of the SWIFT international payment system came to similar conclusions.