top of page
Ernesto Lopez.jpg

Ernesto Lopez

Senior Anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-bribery Compliance professional with over 25 years of experience. Colombian Attorney, Master of Laws from Northwestern University and Certificate in Management from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management (Chicago). Domestic and international work experience including Citibank Colombia and Citi US, the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in Trinidad and Tobago, the Constitutional Court of Colombia and the Central Bank.


Ernesto joined Citibank in 2011 as Chief Country Compliance Officer for Citi Colombia overseeing regulatory compliance in its bank, trust and brokerage entities. He led a team of more than 30 professionals and was responsible for the identification and management of financial integrity and compliance including Money Laundering, OFAC Sanctions, Corruption/Anti-Bribery, Ethics violations, Conflicts of Interest, Data privacy and FATCA.


In 2015 he joined the regional AML team and is currently the Head of AML Risk Management for the corporate banking, capital markets and investment bank businesses in Latin-America and the Caribbean (excluding Mexico). He partners with senior stakeholders in the Risk, Compliance, Legal, and Operations teams at global, regional and country levels to manage the AML control framework and emerging risks for the region.  His job involves making risk-based decisions and client-exit decisions, advising on policy requirements and waivers, evaluating quality of controls of certain corporate clients and the reputational risk they may create, supporting the Business and exercising credible challenge on relationships and product-specific situations, conducting complex risk assessments, evaluating and approving new products and transactions, coordinating with investigation teams, guiding and training country AML staff, etc.  


He is also the lead person in the LATAM team to handle sensitive, higher-risk clients such as those affected by bribery investigations or significant negative media, clients included in internal watch lists and similar cases resulting from internal investigations or otherwise exposing the bank to reputational risk.

Ernesto started his career in 1994 as an intern and then law clerk of the Constitutional Court of Colombia. In 1996 he joined the Central Bank of Colombia as legal advisor to the Board of Directors, dealing with a broad range of financial regulatory issues. After getting his US Master’s degree in 2001 he was appointed Director of the AML Unit of the Colombian Central Bank, followed by 5 years at the International Monetary Fund, in Washington DC, evaluating countries’ compliance with the international AML standards, and providing training, policy advice and legal-drafting support to regulators and other government officials mainly in Latin America and the Caribbean. He continued this type of work as Deputy Executive Director of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in Trinidad and Tobago until 2011, when he joined Citibank.

Ernesto is now living in the Washington DC area where he enjoys gardening and never misses an opportunity to sing at karaoke parties.

bottom of page