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The top 2023 AML resources for financial crime fighters

Mary Ellen Biery
December 29, 2023
Read Time: 0 min

Checklists, guides, and more to help you and your AML-CFT staff 

Thousands of FinCrime professionals in 2023 have accessed these guides, checklists, and other resources produced by Abrigo's team, which includes former bankers, BSA officers, and regulators. 

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Complimentary AML info

Training materials for anti-money laundering & fraud professionals

Ongoing training is vital for effective anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) programs. Given the demands of day-to-day duties, however, it can be challenging for BSA officers and other financial crime compliance staff to find time for training and education. But staying on top of trends and regulations can help them with preventing money laundering and fraud that hurts their customers or members.

In addition, regulators expect that the training resources for helping staff handle their various roles and responsibilities will be tailored to their job functions within anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) programs. This makes sense, given that a board member’s AML/CFT training needs are so different from those of a front-line compliance officer, for example.

Regulators expect financial institutions to have a formal BSA training plan, to be sure. But in between training activities, financial institutions can help keep AML and fraud staff up to speed on the latest trends by sharing AML/CFT and fraud resources with them.

Abrigo’s team of former bankers, BSA officers, regulators, and other experts this year produced numerous complimentary webinars on FinCrime industry hot topics, and they created dozens of new blog articles, checklists, whitepapers, podcasts, and guides to help AML and fraud staff.

Thousands of FinCrime professionals access these AML resources, which are developed specifically with the goal of making compliance staff’s lives easier.

Below are some of the most popular resources that helped financial institutions fight money laundering and fraud in 2023. The whitepapers, checklists, and guides cover everything from regulatory guidance to operational considerations.

From crypto to cannabis

Top helpful resources for AML/CFT staff

People working in banks and credit unions who fight fraud and handle AML/CFT duties had their hands full in 2023, based on the most popular resources downloaded from Abrigo’s website.

Between check fraud, an ever-growing list of global sanctions, and efforts to combine AML and fraud teams, financial crime specialists at financial institutions investigated and tracked various issues. Regularly reviewing new information and compliance aids on these topics is one way they kept up to speed on developments. Abrigo, a leading technology provider of software solutions for banks and credit unions, has a long history of providing resources such as briefings and webinars to financial crime fighters.

Click on the link next to the number to access each resource.

Introductory BSA guidebook: Suspicious activity monitoring and reporting

Financial crime fighters looking for information on complying with suspicious activity monitoring, reporting, risk assessments, and sanctions compliance found help in this BSA/AML training guidebook. It reviews the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) requirements for reporting financial transactions as well as regulatory requirements for customer risk rating. It also outlines the critical components for a strong sanctions compliance program. To quickly get up to speed on the AML/CFT hot topics for 2024, watch this webinar, too.

AML investigations checklist: Red flags for detecting money laundering

Resources describing red flags are among Abrigo’s most popular educational materials. This AML investigations checklist was developed by the Homeland Security Investigations Financial Crimes Unit to help AML investigators. It can be used for initial staff training and quality assurance related to trained staff.

Checklist for your:AML/CFT risk assessment

Risk-focused AML compliance programs ensure that efforts are reasonably designed to meet regulatory requirements. Developing the financial institution’s risk profile is central to risk-focused compliance since each bank or credit union’s risk profile can be different, so the popularity of this resource is understandable. The checklist describes common steps to help a financial institution understand and justify its risk-focused compliance efforts. A separate AML/CFT risk assessment checklist for credit unions is also available.

A closer look at global sanctions: Guide to an effective sanctions program

Considering the current economic and political environment, regulators are understandably focused on ensuring banks and credit unions stay ahead of those people and companies trying to avoid sanctions. Abrigo has blogs and other resources for ongoing help with sanctions compliance, but this whitepaper was particularly popular. It covers some of the common root causes of non-compliance, how to avoid them, and what makes an effective sanctions compliance program. Other related resources include a Russian sanctions compliance checklist and a webinar on balancing the risk and reward of high-risk businesses.

Check fraud: New tech driving old school scam

The surge in check fraud in 2023 has had financial institutions working overtime to protect customers and members and reduce losses. This whitepaper, which was one of the most-often downloaded AML and fraud resources, covered how criminals procure and cash stolen checks. It also provides organizational and staff-level measures to help financial institutions address check fraud. Additional information is available by watching this check fraud webinar or downloading the infographic “Beyond immediate losses: How the costs and impacts of fraud snowball.”

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Customer due diligence: A checklist

A cornerstone of a robust AML/CFT compliance program is effective customer due diligence (CDD). Among the most popular on Abrigo’s website, this checklist highlights steps for strengthening a CDD program and guidance on enhanced due diligence (EDD), including when further EDD should be conducted. To help tellers and others at the institution provide CDD support, download this sample flyer as a template for your own material that fosters communication and overall compliance.

SAR writing checklist: Elements of an effective Suspicious Activity Report narrative

A record-breaking 3.6 million suspicious activity reports (SARs) were filed in 2022, and monthly volumes led to projections that SARs would total 3.75 million in 2023. This checklist helps AML/CFT departments capture the critical elements that ensure their SARs will catch the attention of law enforcement while complying with the FinCEN SAR narrative guidelines. For even more tips on writing SARs, watch this on-demand SARs webinar.

Embracing FedNow: A guide for financial institutions

The FedNow Service that went live in July 2023 has created a lot of chatter in the AML industry, but many banks and credit unions are waiting to adopt it until more experience is gained. However, it’s essential to understand the AML and fraud implications for FedNow before an institution adopts it. This guide answers frequently asked questions about FedNow and its likely effects. It also describes the built-in anti-fraud capabilities, so AML/CFT and fraud staff can understand the implications of joining the payment rail.

Combining AML and fraud teams at your financial institution: Benefits & logistics

Until recently, AML and fraud departments have rarely collaborated on monitoring suspicious or fraudulent activity. However, increases in fraud have led many financial institutions to consider taking down the siloes that split risk management structures. This whitepaper explains the logistics of creating a combined AML-fraud team and the impact on procedures, processes, and threshold settings.

Check fraud and the dark web – Detection and prevention

Every day, criminals buy and sell stolen checks on the dark web, putting your financial institution and customers at risk. Abrigo and Q6 Cyber, a leading e-crime intelligence provider to financial institutions, developed this whitepaper to give banks and credit unions check fraud prevention ideas. The paper also explains how early warning systems can allow financial institutions to begin highly targeted fraud mitigation immediately. To learn additional proactive measures to fight check fraud, watch the on-demand webinar with Q6.

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Stay updated on AML, fraud trends

Most of these resources take just a few minutes to check out, but scanning them regularly will go a long way toward keeping AML and fraud staff updated on the latest regulations, trends, and tips for managing FinCrime programs.

If you’d like to know about the latest resources as they are released, sign up for the FinCrime email newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time, and you’ll hear about webinars, new checklists, guides, and other information right away.

Many live Abrigo webinars and events are eligible for continuing education credits. Learn the latest on check fraud detection by watching this webinar, "Check fraud complexities."

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We can help you navigate changing AML/CFT and fraud regulations. Abrigo's BSA/AML software can help you manage customer or member relationships and stay compliant. Talk to a specialist to learn more.
About the Author

Mary Ellen Biery

Senior Strategist & Content Manager
Mary Ellen Biery is Senior Strategist & Content Manager at Abrigo, where she works with advisors and other experts to develop whitepapers, original research, and other resources that help financial institutions drive growth and manage risk. A former equities reporter for Dow Jones Newswires whose work has been published in

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About Abrigo

Abrigo enables U.S. financial institutions to support their communities through technology that fights financial crime, grows loans and deposits, and optimizes risk. Abrigo's platform centralizes the institution's data, creates a digital user experience, ensures compliance, and delivers efficiency for scale and profitable growth.

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