Anti-money Laundering (AML) Regulations for the Insurance Sector

Why is AML Compliance Necessary in the Insurance Sector?

Globally, the insurance sector has reported exposure to financial crime. A study conducted by PWC in 2018 revealed that 62% of the examinees had been vulnerable to financial fraud in the previous two years. The Financial Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental regulatory body responsible for eradicating money laundering, notes that even though most of the products under insurance companies may not be the initial target for money launderers/criminals, they are still at risk of being a vehicle for laundering the money. For instance, the criminals use their illicit funds to buy life insurance annuity contracts. Alternatively, the opposite scenario occurs, where they withdraw money from life insurance contracts to fund other illicit activities. The agents/brokers working for insurance companies are mostly unaware of such false scenarios and subsequently fall prey to money laundering schemes.

Under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) of 1970, the insurance companies come under the term “companies/financial institutions”. This means that they need to establish and implement the compliance regulations same as other companies/financial institutions. The compliance program for the insurance sector covers their annuity contracts, life insurances, and other products. The act requires that insurance agencies maintain necessary records and file reports which will help law enforcement to investigate criminal activity and other financial crimes like tax fraud.

How to Practice AML in Insurance Companies?

While it is required that firms and insurance companies practice the AML compliance program, they should also ensure that they are not accountable for any crimes related to money laundering. The process of money laundering involves going through different stages that may not be as highly associated with the insurance companies as compared to other financial sectors. However, in certain cases, their involvement may be considered a crime. For instance, if the insurance company participates/engages with illicit funds, all while knowing its true origin, then they will become a part of the money laundering crime. Having full knowledge of the nature of the criminal proceeds and still choosing to hold any transactions with the funds means that the individual or company is oblivious to the situation and chooses to act without reporting or investigating the case involving the illicit funds. When an individual is suspected of being involved in illegal activities or has funds that are illicit proceeds, then this will be considered as a crime if the company chooses to escalate the situation. Other than allowing transactions, if the company or an employee/agent chooses to allow payment with the illicit money while having full knowledge and not investigating the source of funds, then they will be held accountable.

This means that the company should establish best practices of KYC compliance regulations, to prevent such scenarios and the integrity of the company from being harmed. The employees should start with the basic knowledge of the client, such as their name, DOB, and home address. If the client is revealed to be a Politically Exposed Person (PEP), then they should be screened against available databases for any link to criminal activity or corruption. In case of a scenario where the employee is suspicious of the customer, then they can report the suspicious individual with their details to the senior management as well as the compliance officer of the firm, both of whom can further connect with regulatory agencies.

If there are any violations of the BSA regulations, then those involved (individual/company) will incur severe criminal or civil penalties and risk of reputation. There will be additional regulatory enforcement actions by the Treasury, FinCEN, and other regulatory bodies. In order to prevent such violations, the insurance companies must develop an effective BSA/AML compliance program to mitigate any possible ML risks and protect the company from engaging in any criminal activity.

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Compliance Program for Insurance Companies

In order to maintain a comprehensive, risk-based compliance program, which has effective processes and procedures that comply with AML regulatory requirements, the insurance company must abide by the following:

  1. The insurance company should develop risk-based policies and processes along with internal controls in order to comply with BSA requirements for recordkeeping and reporting
  2. They should designate a compliance/BSA officer who ensures daily compliance, checks the effectiveness of the BSA program, trains employees on an ongoing basis, and regularly updates the program when required
  3. The ongoing training includes providing training about respective duties to the company’s agents, associates, and appropriate employees
  4. Independent testing of the BSA program is completed by the officer at regular intervals
  5. To get the customer’s required data that is necessary for the BSA/AML compliance program
  6. To run regular risk assessments of the insurance company’s covered products

The Role of the Insurance Company when it comes to Anti-money Laundering (AML) Regulations 

The following are the role and responsibilities of the insurance company to maintain AML/BSA compliance within the organization:

Role and Responsibility of:

  • Board Members: The company’s board faculty will supervise the senior manager and guide them accordingly as to how to comply with the BSA regulatory requirements and establish the policies. The BSA officer will share the compliance reports, based on the results of independent testing and risk assessments, with the board members, who will review them on a regular basis. It is the board’s responsibility to assign necessary resources and funding for implementing the BSA compliance function in the company
  • Senior Manager: The senior manager’s duty is to execute the compliance program efficiently, along with the appropriate policies and processes. The senior manager works above the BSA officer and overlooks the necessary procedures and internal controls that are being operated successfully. The manager will set the tone for the company to follow the guidelines. These are necessary for compliance and to maintain a compliance culture throughout the company
  • BSA Compliance Officer: It is the BSA officer’s responsibility to establish and implement the compliance program in the company:
  • They need to develop the BSA initiative and update the compliance program when it is required and present the updated program to the board for approval
  • They must review the risk assessment along with the internal controls that will be added to the program
  • They will assess the new requirements for compliance, along with standards and procedures, and make the necessary changes according to the existing program
  • They will ensure compliance with the BSA/AML regulatory requirements for reporting cash transactions, cross-border shipping, and transferring currency or any other financial asset/instruments
  • They need to investigate any suspicious activity and file the SARs when it is necessary. They also need to review the process for identifying any suspicious activity within the company
  • They must ensure that compliance training is provided to the appropriate employees, board members, and senior management
  • They need to recommend the necessary resources and technology for maintaining compliance in the organization
  • They must ensure that CDD processes include all the customer’s relevant data, along with the necessary documents, under the BSA compliance.

 

Read More: About the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) organization.

Read More: What is the role of a Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO)?

Read More: Which countries are stated in the FATF Grey Countries List?

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The US Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2021 on January 1, 2021, addressing a variety of pressing concerns related to the nation’s security. The act included a number of...

The Rising Case for RegTech to Address AML Risks Amid COVID-19

Emerged as a subset of FinTech, the Regulatory Technology (RegTech) industry has now gone more mainstream, thanks to regulators and industry practitioners. Recently, there have been many pro-RegTech c...

Hakrinbank Selects Tookitaki to Ensure Sustainable Financial Compliance Monitoring

Tookitaki announced a partnership with Hakrinbank, a leading South American bank based in Suriname, to fortify its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) detection and alerts management capabilities. To improve...

Breaking Barriers: 5 Key Insights on RegTech Adoption

HKMA in a report shared comprehensive hands-on experience and insights from respondents to better understand the factors and dependencies affecting AML/CFT Regtech adoption. The regulator collaborated...

How to Address Present-day Sanctions Screening Pain Points with AI

Sanctions risk of financial institutions is evolving in line with the global social, economic and political changes. As seen in recent news, governments across the globe are increasingly relying on sa...

Tookitaki Got Selected for FinTech Program: Asia meets Tokyo

Tookitaki has been listed among 8 Fintech startups in Asia for FinTech Program: Asia meets Tokyo, an accelerator launched by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG). We have been selected for our anti...

AML Alert Management: How AI can Augment Your Compliance Efficiency

The financial sector is facing one monster of a problem at the moment. As today’s financial institutions deal with millions of daily transactions, several thousands of routine financial transactions...

Tookitaki Recognised for Innovative Use of AI & Machine Learning

Tookitaki has won the Regtech Award for AI & Machine Learning and was highly commended in the solutions category for AML/CTF Compliance, in the 3rd Regulation Asia Awards for Excellence 2020 ...

Our UOB Success Tale: Setting a New Benchmark for AI-based AML Compliance

Tookitaki achieved a rare and historic milestone as our Anti-Money Laundering Suite (AMLS) solution went live within the premises of United Overseas Bank (UOB), one of the top 3 banks in Singapore.

Tookitaki Wins 2020 WITSA Digital Innovation Award

Tookitaki has won the 2020 Digital Innovation Award from the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) as part of the industry body’s Global ICT Excellence Awards. Nominated by...

Money Laundering via Cryptocurrencies: All You Need to Know

Money laundering via cryptocurrency has been going on for a while now. We’ve all heard of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin. Crypto is used by financial criminals globally but how are they getting away...

CNA 938 radio interviews Tookitaki Co-founder Jeeta Badopadhyay

Tookitaki Co-founder and COO Jeeta Bandopadhyay was named among the Singapore 100 Women in Tech (SG100WIT) List in September 2020. A collaboration between the Singapore Computer Society (SCS), IMDA, S...

Need for New Customer Risk Rating Models: Not All Customers Are Created Equal

Being estimated at between US$800 billion to US$2 trillion every year, money laundering is a serious problem for the global economy. While regulators and financial institutions are working hard to pre...

Is AML Compliance Heading for a New Normal in the Age of Digital Payments?

Increased digitization has influenced various businesses and brought in a paradigm shift in the way they create business models and approach growth opportunities. Moving away from conventional transac...

Excel to AI: How Reconciliation Tools Evolve for Better

In the world of finance, reconciliation is the process of comparing two related sets of records or two accounts at the end of a specific accounting period to find out if account balances are matching ...

Lessons Not Well Learned: 2020 AML Fines Cross 2019 Total

If research is to be believed, institutions across the globe have not done enough in the anti-money laundering (AML) compliance area. Data from consultancy Duff & Phelps revealed that AML fines in...

Exploring AML Risks in COVID-Era and the Ways to Address Them

The world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis it brought in is unprecedented in the history of humankind. While there are a number of pandemic-related factors contributing to the ...

AML Amid COVID-19: Watch out for These FBI-listed Fraud Schemes

There has been a rise in the number of cybercrimes and fraud schemes across the globe ever since the proliferation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Criminals, in general, are taking advantage of people’s s...

OCC Spring Risk Perspective: 5 Takeaways on Compliance Risk

Despite its general strength, the US federal banking system is apparently susceptible to the ongoing economic weakness caused by the rampant spread of coronavirus. Earlier this month, The US Office of...

How Criminals Used COVID-19 Sales Pitch to Defraud, Launder Money

As the world is working hard to contain the spread of the COVID-19, criminals continue to take advantage of the pandemic. They are devising sophisticated methods to defraud people and launder the crim...

5 Top Myths and Facts about AI Implementation in AML Programs

We are more confirmed about the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to transform lives and businesses now. There are countless possible applications of AI and machine learning at present, and we see...

Typology Repository Management: Solving AML Problems Via Collective Intelligence and Continuous Learning

Despite its general strength, the US federal banking system is apparently susceptible to the ongoing economic weakness caused by the rampant spread of coronavirus. Earlier this month, The US Office of...

Whitepaper: Automated AML Pattern Detection Using Network Science

Despite its general strength, the US federal banking system is apparently susceptible to the ongoing economic weakness caused by the rampant spread of coronavirus. Earlier this month, The US Office of...

Money Laundering Amid COVID-19: What Regulators Across Globe Say

As the world continues to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, there are reports that criminals are taking advantage of the difficult situation. They are seizing the moment to proliferate their crimin...

How will Art Cease to Be a Preferred Money Laundering Vehicle?

Money laundering via high-end art and antiquities is not new yet it is difficult to detect. Art-related money laundering amounts to about US$3 billion per year, according to this blog, quoting the Uni...

Beware! Money Mules in Demand amid COVID-19. Here’s an Effective Cure

If reports are to be believed, cybercrooks are taking advantage of the COVID-19 situation. They are targeting people who were laid off or working from home due to the pandemic to work for them as mone...

How do we weather a tornado of change?

“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance” – Samuel Johnson All of us are in challenging times. However, we cannot afford to be lethargic to life, work, and busi...

Roundtable Rewind: Embracing Next-gen Tech & Collaboration Key to Sustainability

As a regtech player with a vision to enable sustainable compliance programs in financial institutions, Tookitaki organized a first-of-its-kind industry roundtable in Charlotte, NC, USA to discuss oppo...

Tookitaki Appoints Industry Veteran Joe Friscia as Advisor

Tookitaki Holding Pte. Ltd. appointed industry veteran Joe Friscia, former President of NICE Actimize and BAE Systems as Advisor to the Company’s Advisory Board. Joe brings over 25 years’ extensi...

Should Modern Machines Be Ethical?

There are mounting concerns across the globe about the reliability and safety of artificial intelligence (AI) based systems and its enabling technologies such as machine learning (ML). On the air are ...

Tookitaki Raises Another US$11.7 million in Series A; Closes Round at US$19.2 million

– by Abhishek Chatterjee, Founder & CEO The Tookitaki team and I are excited to announce that we have raised an additional US$11.7 million in Series A funding, taking the total investment in...

30 Years of FATF: Notable Facts About Global AML Watchdog

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the intergovernmental body formed in 1989 to combating money laundering, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Since its inception, the global agency p...

Tookitaki Joins Aite Financial Crime Forum as Sponsor

Technological advances have fundamentally changed the operational landscape of financial institutions. However, there are also new risks emerging in forms of sophisticated financial frauds and complex...

Will Machine Learning Replace Compliance Professionals?

The impact of modern technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning on job security has been a widely discussed topic today. Of course, AI has advanced very quickly in the last...

6 Most Prevalent Cyber-Laundering Methods in APAC

Despite being a medium to exchange information in real-time and with scale, the Internet is being misused in several ways. Among the slew of financial crimes facilitated by the Internet, money launder...

What Made Us Earn the WEF Technology Pioneer Title

Tookitaki has bagged another global acknowledgement for its outstanding works in the regulatory compliance field. Our company was selected among hundreds of candidates as one of the World Economic Fo...

We Stay as a Team, We Win as a Team and We Flourish as a Team

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to a...

ABA Regulatory Compliance Conference: 10 Sessions You Can’t Miss

The 2019 edition of the American Bankers Association (ABA) Regulatory Compliance Conference is a few more days away. Organized by the Washington, D.C.-based trade association, the conference is touted...

Tookitaki AMLS Wins SBR Technology Excellence Award 2019

Tookitaki’s Anti-Money Laundering Suite (AMLS), an end-to-end machine learning-powered transaction monitoring and names screening solution, has bagged the inaugural Singapore Business Review Tec...

Watchdogs Grow Optimistic about AI Prospects at Banks

Proper regulation of banking operations is important as any failure in the banking system would affect the wider economy. Therefore, banking is one of the most regulated industries across the globe. F...

Pitfall of Black Box AI at Banks: Explaining Your Models to Regulators

The use cases of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in front-office, middle-office and back-office activities at banks are growing slowly but steadily. The major areas of AI play includ...

AI for Regulatory Compliance at Banks: 4 Assessments Before You Okay the Solution Proposal

Banking is one of the industries where artificial intelligence and machine learning find their applications at a rapid pace. Regulatory compliance within banking is an area which has become a costly a...

We Believe in Innovation, the Key to Survival and Growth

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” -Steve Jobs What comes on the top of your screen when you google the meaning of the word innovation is – the introduction of somet...

Compliance Functions in Need of a Technological Overhaul. Can Machine Learning be the Game-Changer?

McKinsey in its latest compliance benchmarking survey found that compliance function at financial institutions has reached “an inflection point” and current compliance standards are in an “incho...

Tookitaki Raises US$7.5 mn Series A from Global VCs to Transform Regulatory Compliance

Tookitaki, a regulatory technology company that aims to enable financial institutions to develop sustainable compliance programs, has raised US$7.5 million in Series A round. The round was co-led by L...

The Biggest Money Laundering Cases: From Wachovia to Danske Bank

Money laundering – the criminal activity of processing criminal proceeds to disguise their origin – is one of the gravest problems faced by the global economy, and its size is growing rapidly. It ...

A Modern Approach to Address the Reconciliation Challenges of Financial Services

Reconciliation of transactions is deemed critical for the smooth running of every financial institution. The speed and accuracy of data reconciliation can distinguish a successful institution from its...

Busting a Myth: Compliance Officer’s Job is All About Risk

Regulatory compliance has become a dreadful task for banks after regulators across the globe set stricter norms in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis in an effort to prevent financial crimes s...

Attending ACAMS Conference in Singapore? Tookitaki Awaits You with Its Disruptive AML Solution

“In today’s era of volatility, there is no other way but to re-invent. The only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility, that’s it.”- Jeff Bezos Singapore is hosting ACAMS’...

MAS’ Stress on Transaction Monitoring for Effective AML/CFT Compliance and Machine Learning is the Answer

Singapore is known for its top-notch AML/CFT regime created through up-to-date legislation, stringent policy and uncompromising supervision to safeguard against the abuse of the city state’s financi...

Mifid II and the Pressing Need for a New Reconciliation Approach

The financial services industry in the EU has been confused with the introduction of a revamped version of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid II). The ambitious regulatory reforms t...

Is Automated Reconciliation Next to Impossible in Today’s Complex Financial World?

The 2008 global financial crisis and fairly new regulatory requirements like Basel III asked financial institutions (FIs) to cut operating costs and adopt a lean operations structure, pushing FIs to r...

Modern Tech to Reshape US AML Compliance with Regulators’ Recent Handshake

George Bernard Shaw once said: “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” The past week has seen a significant change of mind from financial regulators in the US in their ardent...

Skills Development: We Have Talents and We Strive to Multiply Them

“Mastery lies on an infinite continuum, and as a result, we will never reach the end. We can, however, see to it that we are as far along that continuum as our circumstance allows.” ― Chris Mat...

It’s Our Fourth Founding Day; Taking a Pause to Cherish Our Simple but Awesome Journey

Today, as we step into our 4th year of foundation, I feel proud and honored to be leading Tookitaki that has been successful in creating added value to all its stakeholders. I was never a CEO and Took...

Tookitaki Expands into the US with New Office in Charlotte

SINGAPORE, Sept. 24, 2018: Tookitaki Holding Pte Ltd, a leading regulatory technology company, is pleased to announce the official opening of its North American office in Charlotte, NC, in the Unite...

We Tame Machines but We Unleash Human Spirits

We are well aware of the fact that our progress as an organization is in the hands of our employees. The more energy, time and attention we invest in them, the more yield we receive. So, we always mak...

5 Modern Money Laundering Methods That Criminals Use

Modern money launderers are updating their methods to beat detection and avoid getting caught every single day. Where there is new technology, cryptocurrencies and processes, there is a money laundere...

Risk Management Conference: Positive Vibes from All Corners

The Risk Management Association’s (RMA) premier annual event, the Risk Management Conference, came to an end on 6 November, and Tookitaki had the privilege to attend the event which we believe was ...

Singapore Fintech Festival: Tookitaki to showcase advanced machine learning solutions in financial services

Singapore is assured of the Fintech world’s unwavering attention next week, as the city state, is hosting this year’s Fintech Festival during 12-16 November. Touted as the world’s largest platfo...

The RMA Clarion Call to Address Risks and the Tookitaki Way

Risk officers, doing your best today is good while preparing hard for tomorrow is extraordinary. Risk management at banks has become difficult due to operational and regulatory changes. The Risk Manag...