(NewsGlobal.com)- Wells Fargo Advisors agreed to pay $7 million to resolve accusations of anti-money laundering violations, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Between April 2017 and October 2021, Wells Fargo Advisors allegedly failed to file at least 34 Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) on time, according to the regulator.
According to reports, Wells Fargo spokesperson Shea Leordeanu responded to media inquiries in an emailed statement. The spokesperson explained that the bank takes regulatory duties seriously and that the case involves historical flaws that impacted a transaction monitoring system, which was discovered and rectified quickly.
According to the SEC, the gap occurred because the broker failed to properly deploy and test a new version of its internal anti-money laundering (AML) transaction monitoring and warning system, which was implemented in January 2019. The system was unable to reconcile the various country codes used to track international wire transfers.
As a result, Wells Fargo Advisors failed to file at least 25 SARs related to suspicious transactions in its customers’ brokerage accounts involving wire transfers to or from foreign countries that are determined to be a risk for money laundering, terrorist financing, or other illegal money movements in a timely manner.
Reports show Gurbir Grewal, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, stated that when SEC registrants like Wells Fargo Advisors fail to comply with their AML obligations, they put the investing public at risk. Grewal explained The SEC is sending a message to the rest of the industry that AML obligations are “ sacrosanct.”
According to the SEC, they previously settled with Wells Fargo over the earliest similar alleged violations. Wells Fargo’s anti-money laundering management provided confusing orders to money-laundering investigators at the brokerage in 2017. In that settlement, the SEC compelled Wells Fargo to revise its internal rules and evaluate whether it had provided enough time and resources for its investigative team to properly handle problems as they arise.