Why so many scandals and major fines for banks and corporations?

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Just consider – Danske Bank, BNP Paribas, Huawei… They simply failed to grasp the power and reach of US enforcement.

Since 9/11, the US has become a dynamic, extra-territorial enforcer with global reach. To do so, it has weaponised the dominant US dollar and access to the US economy. This has given the US enormous leverage and suasion in achieving its foreign policy goals and the ability to issue staggering penalties, often for mere “apparent” violations of US rules.

“…A study found that although the US only accounted for 44% of all global AML, KYC and sanctions fines (2008-18), yet US penalties amounted to an astonishing 91% of the total value of all fines, at $23.52bn…”


“…A mixture of foolhardiness, crass ignorance and above all irresponsible naivety have led a bunch of commercial entities in otherwise highly ranked jurisdictions to pretend that no-one was looking and deny the existence of major extra-territorial powers from the likes of the US…”


The US Sanctions regime has far more reach than most can possibly imagine. To make matters worse, there is an inordinate amount of confusion over how much cross-border enforcement power the US actually has.

To add to the confusion, EU Blocking Statutes (since 1996) were set up to deny the US the right to penalise companies outside US borders. But they have clearly not worked. This has left firms with a stark need to prioritise: follow one set of rules based on the potential severity of penalties/fines and risk breaching others. No wonder individuals, companies and indeed governments are perplexed..

Available on Amazon and www.SanctionsAML.com