Anti-money laundering budgets continue to rise

Anti-money laundering budgets continue to rise

US financial institutions will continue to spend at a brisk pace to combat money laundering over the next three years, with some banks expecting costs to more than double during the period, according to a new survey by KPMG.

The audit firm conducted the survey among global financial institutions in 41 countries. It found that the cost of anti-money laundering compliance rose significantly over the past three years. Eighty-four percent of executives worldwide and 94% in the US reported that costs have increased as much as 100 percent since passage of the USA Patriot Act.

Looking ahead, the majority of anti-money laundering budget increases - in order of priority - will go toward transaction monitoring, staff training, external reporting requirements, and account-opening procedures.

Ellen Zimiles, a partner in KPMG's forensic practice says that costs will inevitably rise, in part, because of transaction monitoring required by federal law.

"We're finding that most financial institutions have a strong resolve to meet these standards," she says. "It is also encouraging to see those that use anti-money laundering compliance information to support other processes, such as customer profiling and fraud prevention."

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