A new report from Aite Group indicates that banks may find themselves coming up short in budget planning for anti-money laundering compliance, due to the shifting “goal posts” of regulatory guidance.

In its report based on a second-quarter survey of 17 North American banks, the Boston-based research firm estimates only 65 percent of institutions' budgets “are aligned with regulatory demands,” according to a news release. “Even more alarmingly, only 25 [percent] of small institutions' budgets are aligned, while 75 [percent] are stressed where regulatory expectations outweigh available funding.”

"Institutions are reacting to regulator demands by investing in new systems and processes, but the industry still has a way to go before it can declare an AML victory," says Eva Weber, an analyst with Aite Group and author of the report. "AML compliance is a game in which the goal posts are always moving. Since regulators expect institutions to make a good-faith effort to prevent money laundering, the constant evolution of the problem requires a constant evolution of the solutions."

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