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posted on 20 March 2017

Anti-Money-Laundering Measures Challenge Global Banks In Mexico

from the Dallas Fed

-- this post authored by Michael Perez

Global banks are taking precautions in Mexico amid tighter anti-money-laundering regulations that have prompted some institutions to leave the market. The total number of foreignowned bank branches operating in Mexico fell 7.4 percent between 2011 and 2016, partially the result of stricter regulations. Meanwhile, the number of domestically owned branches grew 22.5 percent (see chart).

The stricter standards were promulgated in 2012 by the Financial Action Task Force, an independent intergovernmental agency that works to combat money laundering. The measures mandate that banks and regulators identify, assess and take action to mitigate money laundering and terrorist financing risks.

Proximity to the U.S. makes banks, especially those with branches or correspondent relationships on both sides of the border, attractive to launderers attempting to move funds inconspicuously between the two countries. Correspondent banking involves one bank (the correspondent) providing a deposit account, liability account or related service to another bank (the respondent).

The measures also subject domestic and foreign-owned banks in Mexico to strict oversight by U.S. regulators, who seek to prevent illicit funds from entering the U.S. financial system.

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Source: swe1701d.pdf?la=en

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