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AML again a top priority for broker-dealer exams, FINRA says

Jan 16 2013 Stuart Gittleman, Compliance Complete

Anti-money laundering compliance will again be a focus of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority examinations this year, particularly at broker-dealers with higher-risk business models due to their clients, products and service mix, or locations. HSBC's $1.9 billion fine last month highlighted, among other things, the potential AML risks associated with foreign affiliates and the business they transact through their U.S. financial institution affiliates, FINRA said in its 2013 annual regulatory and examination priorities letter. The letter was issued on Friday. Among other focuses of the letter were algorithmic trading, speculative microcap securities and business development companies, a type of private equity vehicle that can be hard to exit. AML was also a key focus area in last year's FINRA priorities letter. Among other topics covered by this year's FINRA this year noted a rise in foreign currency conversion transactions in which foreign financial institutions buy

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