Archives: Anti-Money Laundering

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New U.S. AML Legislation – Five Provisions for Foreign Banks to Watch

On January 1, 2021, the United States Congress enacted the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (the “AMLA”), as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (the “Act”).  The AMLA includes extensive and fundamental reforms to anti-money laundering (“AML”) laws in the United States, including the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”). In a previous client alert, we … Continue Reading

FinCEN Issues Guidance on 314(b) Information Sharing Among Financial Institutions

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 … Continue Reading

BSA/AML Reform in the 2021 NDAA: Seven Things To Know

On December 8, 2020, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (the “NDAA” or “Act”), which includes over 200 pages of significant reforms to the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) and other anti-money laundering (“AML”) laws that have been working their way through Congress for several years. Despite some remaining objections from President Trump and … Continue Reading

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

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 … Continue Reading

Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Issues Virtual Assets Red Flag Indicators of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

On September 14, 2020, the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) — an inter-governmental anti-money laundering (“AML”) and counter-terrorist financing (“CFT”) standard-setting organization — issued a report on red flag indicators of money laundering and terrorist financing for virtual assets (the “Report”). Based on over 100 case studies, the Report highlights potential red flag indicators of … Continue Reading

FinCEN Issues Final Rule on Bank Secrecy Act Requirements for Banks Without a Federal Functional Regulator

On Monday, September 14, 2020, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued a final rule (the “final rule”) requiring minimum standards for anti-money laundering (“AML”) programs for banks without a federal functional regulator (“covered banks”). The final rule implements a notice of proposed rulemaking issued on August 25, 2016. The final rule applies to a … Continue Reading

Three Takeaways from FinCEN’s Statement on Enforcement of BSA/AML Requirements

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.  … Continue Reading

FinCEN Issues COVID-19-Related Guidance on SAR Filings, Heightened Risk of Disaster Fraud

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued guidance today, which: requested financial institutions affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to contact FinCEN’s Regulatory Support Section and their functional regulator as soon as practicable if they have concerns about potential COVID-19-related delays to their ability to timely file Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reports, including Suspicious Activity Reports … Continue Reading

Financial Group Urges Senate to Advance SAFE Banking Act

On March 6, 2020, the American Bankers Association (“ABA”), on behalf of the banking industry in 49 states and Puerto Rico, sent a letter to leaders of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee (the “Committee”) urging them to advance a bill that would expand banking access for legal marijuana businesses, the Secure and … Continue Reading

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

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 … Continue Reading

Federal Banking Agencies and FinCEN Release Statement on Risk-Focused BSA/AML Supervision

On July 22, 2019, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (collectively, the “federal banking agencies”), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued a joint statement emphasizing their risk-focused … Continue Reading

House Financial Services Committee Passes BSA/AML Overhaul Legislation

On May 9, 2019, the House Financial Services Committee (“HFSC”) unanimously approved an amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 2514, the Coordinating Oversight, Upgrading and Innovating Technology, and Examiner Reform Act (the “COUNTER Act” or the “Act”).  The COUNTER Act, introduced by Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) would be the first major reform … Continue Reading

U.S. Treasury Department States It “Does Not Expect” U.S. Financial Institutions to Follow E.U.’s High-Risk Jurisdiction List

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 … Continue Reading

Financial Agencies Release Joint Statement on Innovative Efforts to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

On December 3, 2018, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Federal Reserve), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), the National Credit Union Administration (“NCUA”), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) (collectively, “agencies”) released a joint statement on innovative efforts to combat money … Continue Reading

Senate Testimony Highlights Tensions in BSA/AML Reform Efforts as Lawmakers Consider Bipartisan Legislation

Representatives of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) testified on Thursday, November 29 before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (“Banking Committee”) on anti-money laundering (“AML”) issues. The testimony highlighted some tensions between the views of … Continue Reading
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