Global financial regulators levied 97 fines in the first half of 2023, totaling more than $189 million, representing a huge decline from the same period in 2022, according to a new analysis.
The second halves of calendar years typically see an increase in enforcement actions, but the findings by Fenergo confirm a multi-year trend of decreasing fines, which peaked in 2020 at more than $10 billion in fines for noncompliance with AML regulations, KYC and client due diligence, as well as sanctions. Indeed, since July, regulators across the globe have levied hundreds of millions more in penalties.
U.S. enforcement actions accounted for 83% of the total first-half penalties against FIs despite comprising only 10% of the total number of enforcements. U.S. regulatory agencies have demonstrated a willingness to investigate the world’s most prominent financial institutions, including large individual settlements with Coinbase, Wells Fargo and BlockFi. In fact, the Fed and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) hit Wells Fargo with the largest collective fine in the first half of 2023, at $97.8 million.