Photo of Nikhil Gore

A member of the international arbitration and financial institutions practices, Nikhil V. Gore represents sovereign states and U.S. and global firms in international treaty-based and commercial disputes. He also regularly represents U.S. financial institutions, and the U.S. branches and affiliates of foreign financial institutions, in investigations and inquiries involving the Federal Reserve, OCC, FDIC, CFPB, and state banking regulators.

Mr. Gore has served as counsel in investment and commercial arbitrations spanning several industries and a variety of regions, including Asia, Eastern Europe, North America, and Southern Africa. Additionally, he has expertise in the law of the sea, and was part of the Covington team that secured an order from the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, which required Russia to release three Ukrainian naval vessels and twenty-four servicemen detained in the Black Sea in 2018.

In his financial institutions practice, Mr. Gore has experience with enforcement actions and investigations relating to the Bank Secrecy Act, the federal criminal money laundering statutes, the full range of safety and soundness issues (including, in particular, supervisory reviews of bank control functions), and fair lending and consumer compliance. Mr. Gore is a regular contributor to the firm’s financial services blog.

On December 10, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued new guidance interpreting section 314(b) of the USA PATRIOT Act and rescinding FinCEN’s previous guidance. Section 314(b) is intended to establish a safe harbor for financial institutions that voluntarily share (in accordance with the statute’s terms) information regarding possible terrorism and money laundering.  The new guidance, which is in the form of a Fact Sheet, appears aimed at providing further encouragement and assurance to financial institutions to participate in section 314(b).
Continue Reading FinCEN Issues Guidance on 314(b) Information Sharing Among Financial Institutions

On November 19, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, National Credit Union Administration, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (collectively, the “Agencies”) issued a joint fact sheet clarifying how banks subject to the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) should apply a risk-based approach to customer due diligence (“CDD”) requirements for charities and other non-profit organizations.

Continue Reading Federal Banking Agencies and FinCEN Issue Joint Statement on Risk-Based Approach to Customer Due Diligence for Charities and Non-Profit Organizations

As we noted in a client alert late last week, the federal banking agencies released on August 13, 2020, a joint statement on enforcement of Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (“BSA/AML”) requirements.  At the time, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation made reference to a possible separate “Statement on Enforcement of the Bank Secrecy Act” from FinCEN. 

On Friday, the leaders of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) (collectively, the “Agencies”) issued a “Joint Statement on Activities Involving Digital Assets” (the “Joint Statement”).  The Joint Statement serves as a reminder that businesses engaged in activities involving digital assets – or, as they are sometimes called, virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies – should be attentive to their anti-money laundering (“AML”) obligations, including under the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”).

The Joint Statement notes that the BSA requires “financial institutions” to:  (1) establish and implement an effective AML program; and (2) comply with certain recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the filing of suspicious activity reports (“SARs”).  These requirements apply not just to a financial institution’s traditional lines of businesses, but also to its businesses involving digital assets.


Continue Reading Leaders of the SEC, CFTC, and FinCEN Issue Joint Statement Emphasizing AML Obligations for Digital Asset Activities

In the past few weeks, both Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) Chairman Jelena McWilliams and Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting have spoken publicly about ongoing efforts by their agencies, and by the Federal Reserve Board, to reform regulations implementing the Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”).

The federal bank regulatory agencies have been working on reforms

On February 13, the European Commission published a list of 23 jurisdictions that it views as posing “significant threats to the financial system of the [European] Union” in the area of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (“AML/CFT”).  On the same day, the U.S. Treasury Department issued a press statement in which it advised that it

It took some time for banking lawyers and compliance officers to get used to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) announcement, under former Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, that it would refer to itself as the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP).  This blog — like many others in the industry — made sure to follow

The Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today approved its operating budget for 2019.  The budget reflects a decrease in both expenditures (down 2.3%) and headcount (down approximately 3%).  The FDIC’s budget memorandum explains that these changes reflect, among other things, consolidation in the industry and a decrease in the frequency

Late last week, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced a cooperation agreement on FinTech innovation.  The agreement is principally focused on information sharing on FinTech trends and developments and on each regulator’s FinTech sandboxes.

The agreement could also, however, help FinTech companies move more easily between the