On June 30, the NYDFS adopted a final rule that requires regulated financial institutions to maintain a transaction monitoring program for potential BSA/AML violations and a filtering program intended to ban transactions prohibited by federal economic and trade sanctions. Further, the Board of Directors or Senior Officer(s) are required to submit annually, by April 15, a Board Resolution or Compliance Officer Finding, confirming the steps taken to ascertain compliance with the regulation and stating that, “to the best of the [Board or Officer’s] knowledge, the Transaction Monitoring and Filtering Program complies with [the regulation].” The law applies to Regulated Institutions, which include banks, trust companies, private bankers, savings banks and savings and loan associations chartered pursuant to the New York Banking Law, and all branches and agencies of foreign banking corporations licensed under the Banking Law to conduct banking operations in New York; and non-banks, which include check cashers and money transmitters licensed under the Banking Law. Read more…
On July 11, the OCC released its Semiannual Risk Perspective for Spring 2016, which generally provides an overview of supervisory concerns for the federal banking system and specifically presents data as of December 31, 2015 in the following areas: (i) operating environment; (ii) bank performance; (iii) key risk issues; and (iv) regulatory actions. Similar to the fall 2015 report, the current report identifies cybersecurity, third-party vendor management, business continuity planning, TRID, and BSA/AML compliance, among other things, as key areas of potential operational and compliance risk. Further, the report highlights the new Military Lending Act rule, effective October 3, 2016, as a new key potential risk. According to the report, the OCC’s supervisory priorities for the next twelve months will generally remain the same; moreover, the outlook for the OCC’s Large Bank Supervision and Midsize and Community Bank Supervision operating units will remain broadly similar.
On May 24, the OCC entered into an agreement with a New York-based federal savings bank over the bank’s allegedly unsafe or unsound banking practices “relating to strategic and capital planning, concentration risk management, and board and management oversight at the [b]ank, and violations of law relating to Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) internal controls and BSA officer requirements.” Pursuant to the agreement, the bank’s Board must, among other things, revise and adopt a written program of internal control policies and procedures that the bank must implement to ensure ongoing compliance with the BSA. The policies and procedures must include, at a minimum, (i) effective customer due diligence and enhanced due diligence processes at account opening and thereafter; (ii) adequate methodology to ensure proper risk rating of customer accounts at their opening and thereafter; (iii) effective evaluations and investigations of suspicious activity system alerts; (iv) effective suspicious activity investigation process; and (v) periodic validation of the bank’s automated BSA monitoring system settings.
On May 5, the DOJ announced that it plans to submit to Congress proposals for legislative amendments that would provide the DOJ with additional tools to advance anti-corruption work in the areas of pursuing illegal proceeds of transnational corruption and modifying the substance of criminal corruption offenses. The DOJ’s proposals regarding the illegal proceeds of transnational corruption would amend various sections of the U.S.C. to (i) expand foreign money laundering predicate crimes to include any violation of foreign law that, if committed in the U.S., would be a money laundering predicate; (ii) allow administrative subpoenas for money laundering investigations; (iii) enhance law enforcement’s ability to obtain overseas records by allowing access to foreign bank or business records by serving subpoenas on foreign bank branches located in the United States regardless of bank secrecy or data privacy laws in the foreign jurisdictions; (iv) create a framework to use and protect classified information in civil kleptocracy-related cases; and (v) extend the time period in which the United States can restrain property based on a request from a foreign country from 30 to 90 days. The proposals pertaining to substantive corruption offenses would amend 18 U.S.C. § 666 (theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds) to (i) expressly criminalize the corrupt offer or acceptance of payments to “reward” official action; and (ii) lower the dollar threshold for liability from $5,000 to $1,000 to address cases where the dollar amount may be low but threat to the integrity of a government function is high.
On April 13, the OCC named Donna Murphy Deputy Comptroller for Compliance Risk. Effective May 1, Murphy will be responsible for supervising the development of policy and examination procedures relating to consumer, BSA/AML, and Community Reinvestment Act issues. Prior to joining the OCC in 2013, Murphy supervised the DOJ’s fair lending enforcement program.