2020 Anti-Money Laundering Year in Review

2020 witnessed a flurry of anti-money laundering activity, with the issues and developments continuing to be global in scope. In the United States, suspicious activity reports, outlining transactions involving terrorism finance or other illegal activity, were leaked to the public. This sparked questions into the effectiveness of current anti-money laundering regime and suspicious activity report filing.  

In the European Union, an action plan to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing was proposed, foreshadowing increased enforcement action and further regulation. The European Union also adopted a global human rights sanctions regime, highlighting the need for appropriate safeguards in compliance frameworks.  

In Hong Kong, the test to determine the reasonableness of a person's belief regarding legitimacy of sources of funds was reformulated. Last year also witnessed multiple public pronouncements and penalties imposed in Singapore regarding anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism, forcing companies to look into their compliance programs and the quality of their execution.  

This Year in Review focuses on these developments as well as highlights other key trends in the sanctions and anti-money laundering arena from a global perspective. This Year in Review also provides insight into potential anti-money laundering and what these issues mean for financial institutions, and offers an outlook for the year ahead.

Read the White Paper.

Insights by Jones Day should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general information purposes only and may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication or proceeding without the prior written consent of the Firm, to be given or withheld at our discretion. To request permission to reprint or reuse any of our Insights, please use our “Contact Us” form, which can be found on our website at This Insight is not intended to create, and neither publication nor receipt of it constitutes, an attorney-client relationship. The views set forth herein are the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Firm.