Financial transactions with an entity on one of many government watch lists pose significant risk to companies in the financial services sector, and in the controlled-goods space. You could be committing violations of export control and FinCEN regulations right now, or they could be hidden in your books, or those of companies you have or in are considering acquiring.
The severe penalties of violating the regulations, including fines, restrictions on business activities, incarceration, and damage to personal and corporate reputations invites appropriate due diligence measures to protect individuals, executives and the corporation.
In most time-is-money, high transaction volume / low revenue environments, a key challenge in anti-money laundering due diligence is finding solutions that add negligible incremental transaction costs and are almost invisible to throughput.
Financial services companies subject to FinCEN and the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) have a set of watch lists against which screening is typically performed to ascertain transactions for inclusion on SAR and other reports.
Controllers, executives and board members of companies dealing in controlled goods, technologies or services face heightened compliance risks and requirements. Regulatory criminal and civil penalties aside, it's not good for business to be publically exposed as a company that compromises national security.