BSA/AML

AML Act of 2020 – 5 Key Takeaways

On January 1, 2021, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA),  addressing a variety of defense and national security matters, including the most substantial and sweeping legislative reforms to US anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CFT) laws since the USA Patriot Act of 2001. The NDAA introduces these AML/CFT amendments and enhancements in [...]

February 3rd, 2021|

FinCEN Answers FAQs and Offers Guidance on SAR Reporting

On January 21, 2021, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), along with federal financial institution regulators, issued responses to frequently asked questions on suspicious activity reports (SARs) and other anti-money laundering (AML) requirements.  The stated goal of this release is to clarify regulatory requirements and assist financial institutions with compliance obligations, particularly SAR filing, while [...]

January 28th, 2021|

FinCEN Fines Bitcoin Exchanger $60M for AML Violations

On October 19th, the founder, administrator, and primary operator of a pair of virtual currency platforms was assessed a $60 million civil penalty by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its implementing of anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. Larry Dean Harmon was indicted in the U.S. District [...]

October 20th, 2020|

FinCEN Finalizes AML Rule for Institutions Lacking Federal Oversight

On September 14, 2020,  the Financial Crimes Enforcement network (FinCEN) closed the regulatory gap and issued a final rule which removed the anti-money laundering (AML) program exemption for financial institutions that lack a Federal functional regulator, including, but not limited to, private banks, non-federally insured credit unions, and certain trust companies. These institutions will now [...]

September 23rd, 2020|

OCC Releases Semiannual Risk Perspective – Warns of Covid-19 Related Increased Risk

On June 29th, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released its Semiannual Risk Perspective report, finding that due to the current COVID-19 pandemic will stress institutions' financial performance this year. The report also said that compliance risk is on the rise, in part because of federal programs related to the CARES Act and [...]

July 2nd, 2020|

Regulators Update BSA/AML Exam Manual

On April 15th, federal and state financial institution regulators, through the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), released several updates to the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) examination manual.  The manual is used to evaluate compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering requirements.  Revisions were made by the Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit [...]

April 16th, 2020|

Paycheck Protection Program & BSA Compliance

On March 27, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to provide emergency assistance for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the CARES Act, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) received funding and authority to assist small businesses nationwide that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 emergency. In its Interim Final Rule (the Rule),  the SBA sets out [...]

April 14th, 2020|

Former U.S. Bank Risk Officer Fined $450K for AML Compliance Failures

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has assessed a $450,000 civil money penalty against Michael LaFontaine, former chief operational risk officer at U.S. Bank, for his failure to prevent violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) during his tenure. According to the FinCEN order, Michael LaFontaine at various times had responsibility for overseeing U.S. Bank’s anti-money laundering [...]

March 16th, 2020|

Former U.S. Bank Risk Officer Fined $450K for AML Compliance Failures

On July 22, the federal financial institution regulatory agencies: Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC), National Credit Union Asministration (NCUA), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, in conjunction with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), issued a Joint Statement on Risk-Focused Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Supervision. The Joint [...]

July 25th, 2019|

OCC Releases Spring 2019 Semiannual Risk Perspective

On Tuesday, May 22nd, The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)  published its Semiannual Risk Perspective for Spring 2019. Highlights include: Credit quality is strong when measured by traditional performance metrics, but successive years of growth, incremental easing in underwriting, risk layering, and building credit concentrations result in accumulated risk in loan portfolios. Operational risk [...]

May 22nd, 2019|