Banks worldwide amass $14 billion in fines in 2020, US banks account for 78%

Banks worldwide amass $15 billion in fines 2020, US banks account for 73%
2 years ago
2 mins read

Data acquired from the Bank Fines Report 2020 by Finbold.com indicates a total of $14.21 billion (€12.01 billion) in aggregated bank fines last year. The bank fines covered the period of January 1st, 2020, to December 31st, 2020.

According to the findings, the United States accounts for the highest fines at $11.11 billion or 78.18% of the issued fines. The fines emanated from 12 cases. Australia ranks second with $981.06 million in fines from three cases. 

Israel ranks third with $902.59 million in bank fines from a single case. 

Sweden had $539.66 million in fines to rank fourth with two cases, while Germany follows with $215.91 million from four cases. 

The United Kingdom is sixth, with banks amassing $156.51 million in fines from four cases, followed by Canada at $127.39 million from a single case.

With seven cases, China saw authorities fine banks a total of $83.03 million while Iran ranks ninth with $37.03 million from one case. Turkey ranks tenth, at $21.98 million in bank fines.  

Countries ranked by total bank fine amount in 2020:

RankCountryTotal fine per country in million USDNumber of fines
1United States$11,110.0012
2  Australia$981.063
7 Canada$127.391
8   China$83.037
9 Iran$37.031

Strict regulations might fuel further growth in fines

The largest single fine was issued to Goldman Sachs at $3.90 billion. In total, the facility amassed $6.25 billion in fines. Wells Fargo had the second-highest from a single case at $3 billion. Goldman Sachs accounted for the third-highest fone from a single case at $2 billion. 

Finbold.com chief editor Oliver Scott commented:

“Fines on financial institutions are projected to grow in the coming years, as the U.S. and other countries reforms existing regulations while increasing sanctions with anti-money laundering regulations remaining a key enforcement priority. However, banks are spending more on conforming to changing regulatory requirements. Overall, new and complex regulations are proving to be a challenge for the compliance departments of many lenders.”

Authorities from different countries issued the fines due to varying violations, but failure to adhere to anti-money laundering protocols was the leading violation.

The report includes fines higher than €500,000; the real numbers of violations can be drastically higher. See the full report here.

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Justinas Baltrusaitis

Justin crafts insightful data-driven stories on finance, banking, and digital assets. His reports were cited by many influential outlets globally like Forbes, Financial Times, CNBC, Bloomberg, Business Insider, Nasdaq.com, Investing.com, Reuters, among others.