After an impressive race at the helm of FinCEN, guiding the shift to ‘effective’ anti-money laundering programs, Blanco holds the first financial crime compliance position at Citi – CFCS

Through Brian monroe
bmonroe@acfcs.org
April 2, 2021

After an impressive run at the US Treasury’s Financial Intelligence Unit, Kenneth Blanco, who led and worked on the implementation of some of the country’s most significant updates to financial crime compliance rules over the past 20 years, made the leap to the private sector.

Citigroup, in the midst of a reshuffle to refocus, reorganize and converge its financial crime departments after a series of high-profile sanctions, has hired Blanco, the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), as responsible for the compliance of a newly created and merged financial crimes unit, according to Press Releases and media reports.

Blanco is expected to start at Citi in Q2, according to an internal memo viewed by Bloomberg News. He will leave FinCEN on April 9, the agency said.

Blanco has been the head of FinCEN for almost 3.5 years, taking over in December 2017 after nearly 30 years of government service at the US Department of Justice.

Michael Mosier, former Deputy Director of FinCEN and current Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, will return to FinCEN as Acting Director.

AnnaLou Tirol, former Associate Director of the Strategic Operations Division of FinCEN, serves as Deputy Director of FinCEN.

At FinCEN, Blanco worked with national and global public and private bodies to identify organized criminal narcos, regional money laundering centers, groups helping blacklisted jurisdictions and entities escape sanctions, nodes of grand corruption and financial networks supporting terrorist groups.

He has also led efforts to better develop and graft AML rules on crypto coins and use the millions and millions of deposits in FinCEN’s database to find broader trends, producing reports related to cyber fraud. and ransomware attacks targeting businesses, financial institutions and healthcare companies, as well as deeper dives on the red flags of human trafficking and elder abuse, to name but a few some.

Blanco’s move has been praised by his peers, many of whom have themselves moved from FinCEN to high-level positions in banks’ AML departments.

“Jennifer Shasky Calvery, Blanco’s predecessor at FinCEN and current head of the financial crime group at HSBC, said in a social media post. “You are leaving a legacy of success, especially the many talented people you have retained and recruited at FinCEN. ”

“Ken Blanco’s FinCEN has led the way in proactive engagement with industry and shifting the dial to channel AML reform towards effective results in the fight against financial crime,” said Patricia Sullivan, Former Global Co-Head of Financial Crime Compliance at Standard Chartered, in an assignment. “Ken, we will miss you but leave a great legacy.”

“Ken – You will be missed. Your openness to hearing the ideas of the private sector has been greatly appreciated by all of us, ”said Duncan Deville, Global Head of Financial Crime Compliance at Western Union and former Director of the Office of Compliance and Enforcement at Western Union. FinCEN.

“You were implementing many of the [Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA)] reforms even before the law was passed – hard work and well done! I am sure you will do a good job at Citi.

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