What are the Different Types of Anti-Money Laundering Jobs?

Terrie Brockmann

For people who like to research detailed information and investigate mysteries, a career in anti-money laundering (AML) may be a good choice. There are anti-money laundering jobs in banks and financial institutions. Additionally, there are anti-money laundering consulting firms that hire experienced investigators. Some of the job titles for anti-money laundering investigators include AML compliance officer, AML investigations officer, and AML financial intelligence manager.

All big banks have anti-money laundering positions.
All big banks have anti-money laundering positions.

Generally, an anti-money laundering specialist is a forensic accountant who has special training in anti-money laundering techniques and regulations. This specialist follows the flow of money through the financial institution's accounts, using information provided by many sources, including government sources. One of the tasks that a specialist often performs is to train other personnel to watch for suspicious activity. An anti-money laundering specialist uses all of the banks systems as well as external sources, such as anti-money laundering consultant firms.

Financial institutions are required to report suspicious financial activity.
Financial institutions are required to report suspicious financial activity.

Some of the anti-money laundering jobs are highly specialized. One of these specialty jobs is the development of anti-money laundering software and systems to help people perform their anti-money laundering jobs. A person who seeks a career in anti-money laundering software typically needs experience and training in both software development and anti-money laundering regulations and techniques.

In larger corporations, a person may be a manager of an anti-money laundering department. Frequently, this manager travels to various facilities and trains the on-site staff. It is common for this person and other anti-money laundering specialists to be bilingual, such as in English and Mandarin Chinese, because banking has increasingly become a global activity.

People who have a law degree and experience in anti-money laundering jobs sometimes find employment in the court system. A person may become a prosecutor who specializes in anti-money laundering laws and cases or a lawyer who seeks to defend people against prosecution. Consulting is another career in the legal system, and generally a person does not need a law degree to be a consultant. Frequently, a consultant needs several years of experience in anti-money laundering jobs.

Anti-money laundering consulting firms hire anti-money laundering specialists to help firms set up a plan or system to detect money-laundering activity. Usually, they train their clients' staff and train managers to monitor staff effectiveness. Consultants normally have more experience and higher educational degrees than most anti-money laundering specialists do. Consulting firms sometimes hire anti-money laundering professionals who specialize in risk assessment to calculate a firm's vulnerability.

Almost every country has anti-money laundering jobs, although some countries use different names. For example, in Canada, the U.S. term anti-money laundering is normally called anti-terrorist financing program. Each region or country has its own regulations and requirements that an anti-money laundering specialist needs to know. In the United States, a few of the laws that people in anti-money laundering jobs need to know include the Patriot Act, the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), and the U.S. Treasury's anti-money laundering guidelines. Other important requirements include a working knowledge of the suspicious activity reporting requirements and the know-your-customer investigative techniques.

In most cases, laundered money is illegally obtained.
In most cases, laundered money is illegally obtained.

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