Crypto Layoffs See Compliance Cuts Despite Rising Regulatory Pressure

Brad Fulton

Welcome to This Week In Compliance: GAN’s weekly news roundup, where we curate the latest stories on compliance and anti-corruption to keep you informed. This week, layoffs hit compliance teams at top crypto firms, despite increased attention from regulators. Read the full story and more news below:

Top Story

Crypto Layoffs See Compliance Cuts Despite Rising Regulatory Pressure

A number of layoffs hitting cryptocurrency exchanges amid rumors of economic recession have seen compliance teams hit particularly hard, experts say. Layoffs at cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase and Gemini have seen compliance analysis laid off and job offers rescinded as the companies prepare for a “crypto winter”, or extended period of severe downturn and disinterest in cryptocurrency. Cuts to compliance teams come despite rising regulatory pressure and interest in crypto by the SEC. Compliance team layoffs are well-known to compliance officers, as companies tend to see the function as a cost center, rather than a profit center, especially in times of economic uncertainty.

Government

JPMorgan, UBS, TradeStation Charged with Failure to Prevent Identity Theft

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) individually charged JPMorgan, UBS, and TradeStation with failure to ensure the proper protocols were in place to prevent identity theft. The lapse in security protocols violates the SEC’s Identity Theft Red Flags Rule, or Regulation S-ID. According to the SEC, between 2017 and 2019, neither bank or brokerage had sufficient red flag rules for protecting their customers identity and personal information. Each firm will pay a fine of up to USD 1.2M.

Ukraine Appoints New Anti-Corruption Chief

As part of an agreement with Western allies, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has appointed a new anti-corruption prosecutor. Andriy Kostin, who previously served under Zelenskyy’s parliamentary faction, was appointed to the position after the removal of the previous prosecutor general, who Zelenskyy said was ineffective at rooting out Russian influence in his government. The anti-corruption prosecutor position previously had been empty for two years before the newest appointment.

Business

Latvian Bankers Charged with Laundering EUR 2.1B

Prosecutors have charged two men affiliated with the third largest bank in Latvia with laundering more than EUR 2.1B. Ernests Bernis and Vadims Reinfelds, both CEOs at ABLV, along with five other employees are accused of laundering money obtained through criminal operations through their bank using a series of shell companies. Using shell companies located in Cyprus, Seychelles, Panama, Belize, British Virgin Islands, and the United Kingdom, the bankers allowed their customers to transfer funds using fake contracts which allowed them to conceal their identities and the source of funds.