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Wells Fargo improves its AML procedures as crypto regulations change

Singapore and the U.S. look to better integrate the crypto market and Wells Fargo makes amends to its previous AML failures

Antonis Melis
January 8, 2021

Singapore’s Parliament has approved the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to regulate cryptocurrency service providers

On the other side of the globe, the U.S. has also taken big steps towards embracing crypto as financial institutions were given the green light to participate in the nodes of blockchain, allowing them to transact stablecoin payments.

And Wells Fargo has managed to end a consent order issued to them in 2015 by improving their AML/BSA procedures.

Find out more on these stories below.

Singapore parliament approves new measures against terror financing, money laundering

Earlier this week Singapore’s parliament approved a bill that regulates virtual payment service providers, improving their measures to counter money laundering and terrorism financing.

Before the change, MAS only regulated cryptocurrency service providers when they possessed money or the cryptocurrency itself.

Under the new bill, MAS will expand its reach to service providers that may or may not facilitate the use of cryptocurrency for payments.

These changes cover three main activities namely:

• Facilitating the transmission of cryptocurrencies from one account to another

• Custodial services for cryptocurrencies

• Facilitating the exchange of cryptocurrencies where the service provider does not come into possession of the monies or cryptocurrencies involved

Singpaore is often in line with global AML/BSA regulations, making these changes expected in their drive towards being leaders in the financial world.

U.S. regulator says banks can use stablecoins, connect to blockchains

On Monday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency released an interpretive letter that allowed U.S financial institutions to use stablecoins for payment activities and can participate as nodes in blockchain.

In a statement Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks said, “Our letter removes any legal uncertainty about the authority of banks to connect to blockchains as validator nodes and thereby transact stablecoin payments on behalf of customers who are increasingly demanding the speed, efficiency, interoperability, and low cost associated with these products.”

This is the latest crypto-friendly move from the Treasure Department and is a giant advance for crypto in the U.S.

Wells Fargo says federal agency ends anti-money laundering consent order

On Tuesday, Wells Fargo announced that a 2015 consent order related to an anti-money laundering compliance programme was terminated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) after the bank had taken steps to fix their problems.

The terminated consent order forced the bank to implement customer due diligence standards, which involved collecting current beneficial information for specific business customers. The bank is still working on removing another consent order issued in 2018 and looks to improve its relationship with regulators.

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