MSL Capital Markets was the only one out of 100 firms tapped by the regulator for early anti-money laundering (AML) audits to receive a public warning.
The MSL warning, issued by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) on March 12, for failing to supply audit documents on time, followed an AML breach notice slapped on JP Morgan by the Reserve Bank the previous week.
While all the roughly 830 entities the FMA supervises are required to file AML audits by June 29 this year, the regulator has selectively requested about 100 firms to supply compliance documents earlier.
A further 20 firms sent AML audits to the regulator voluntarily.
“Of the entities that the FMA has asked to provide reports, only one entity (MSL Capital Markets Ltd) had failed to do before a formal warning was issued,” an FMA spokesperson said. “Other entities that were requested to provide a report engaged with us to either cancel the request or agree a revised date to provide us the report.”
According to the spokesperson, the FMA also issued a “non public warning” to another firm after finding fault with the audit supplied.
The FMA said the decision to make warnings public “is always carefully considered”.
“Each situation is reviewed on the severity of the breach and the way in which a firm cooperates with us to resolve any compliance issues,” the spokesperson said.
Coincidentally, outgoing FMA compliance chief, Elaine Campbell, also headed the NZX Markets Disciplinary Tribunal when it fined McDouall Stuart Securities (MSL predecessor firm) in 2010 for rule breaches.
Last week Campbell was appointed as AMP NZ general legal counsel.
Andrew McDouall, MSL head, said the firm will have to take the latest regulatory warning “on the chin”.
It is understood MSL has until the end of April to file its AML audit.