The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., more commonly known as FINRA, the regulator for the securities industry, has levied a civil penalty of $10m upon the brokerage firm of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, for Anti-Money Laundering and supervisory failures that have occurred during the past five years.
Smith Barney's Anti-Money Laundering compliance program was defective, due to the fact that its automated program did not receive data on the wire and foreign currency transfers from high-risk countries. Additionally, the firm's AML program was insufficiently staffed to respond to alerts of suspicious transactions.
Finally, there was insufficient monitoring of customers' deposit and trades in penny stock by the firm's AML department, involving $164m in sales.
For those readers who wish to review the original document: FINRA LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE, WAIVER AND CONSENT
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant