Bank Secrecy Act

NY DFS Adopts Final Anti-Terrorism and Anti-Money Laundering Regulation

On June 30, 2016, the New York Department of Financial Services (“NY DFS”) adopted a final anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering regulation (the “Final Regulation”) that requires institutions subject to regulation by the NY DFS to maintain programs to monitor and filter transactions for potential Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) and anti-money laundering (“AML”) violations and prevent transactions with sanctioned entities.

Of particular significance is that under the Final Regulation, which will be effective January 1, 2017, relevant regulated NY DFS institutions are required to review their transaction-monitoring and filtering programs and ensure that they are reasonably designed to comply with risk-based safeguards. These institutions also must adopt (at the institution’s option) an annual board resolution or senior officer compliance finding to certify compliance with the Final Regulation beginning April 15, 2018. The resolution or finding must state that documents, reports, certifications and opinions of officers and other relevant parties have been reviewed by the board of directors or senior official to certify compliance with the Final Regulation.

The proposed version of the Final Regulation, which was issued on December 1, 2015, included a much more draconian requirement that a senior financial executive annually deliver an unqualified certificate to the NY DFS that his or her institution “has sufficient systems in place to detect, weed out, and prevent illicit transactions” and that he or she has reviewed the compliance programs of the regulated Institution, or caused them to be reviewed, and that such programs comply with all of the requirements of the proposed regulation. The provisions of the proposed regulation are discussed in the December 22, 2015 Orrick Alert.

The NY DFS noted in its announcement of the Final Regulation that: “The risk-based rule adopted by DFS today takes into consideration comments that were submitted by the financial services industry and others during the extended comment period for the previously-proposed regulation, which ended March 31, 2016.”

Institutions must maintain supporting data for the certification, for review by NY DFS, for five years.

The key requirements of the Final Regulation include the following:

Annual Board Resolution or Senior Officer Compliance Finding

To ensure compliance with the requirements, each regulated institution shall adopt and submit to the Superintendent a board resolution or senior officer compliance finding by April 15 of each year. Each regulated institution shall maintain for examination by DFS all records, schedules and data supporting adoption of the board resolution or senior officer compliance finding for a period of five years.

Maintain a Transaction Monitoring Program

Each relevant regulated institution shall maintain a reasonably designed program for the purpose of monitoring transactions after their execution for potential BSA/AML violations and Suspicious Activity Reporting. The system, which may be manual or automated.

Maintain a Watch List Filtering Program

Each relevant regulated institution shall maintain a reasonably designed filtering program for the purpose of interdicting transactions that are prohibited by federal economic and trade sanctions.

U.S. Treasury Announces Customer Due Diligence Final Rule for Financial Institutions

On May 5, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced a Customer Due Diligence (CDD) Final Rule that requires financial institutions to conduct certain diligence to verify personal information of beneficial owners of legal entity customers.  The final rule under the Bank Secrecy Act was published in the Federal Register on May 11, 2016 and becomes effective July 11, 2016.  Press ReleaseFinal Rule.

FinCEN Proposes Funding Portals Regulations under Bank Secrecy Act

On April 4, 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a bureau of the Department of the Treasury (“FinCEN”), proposed amendments to the definitions of ‘‘broker or dealer in securities’’ and ‘‘broker-dealer’’ under the regulations implementing the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”). This rulemaking would amend those definitions explicitly to include “funding portals” that are involved in the offering or selling of “crowdfunded securities” pursuant to Section 4(a)(6) of the Securities Act of 1933. The consequence of those amendments would be that funding portals would be required to implement policies and procedures reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the BSA Act requirements currently applicable to brokers or dealers in securities. FinCEN stated that:  “The proposal to specifically require funding portals to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act regulations is intended to help prevent money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.”  Written comments of this proposal must be submitted on or before June 3, 2016.

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, enacted into law on April 5, 2012, established the foundation for a regulatory structure for startups and small businesses to raise funds by offering and selling securities through “crowdfunding” without having to register the securities with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) or state securities regulators.  In order to take advantage of this exemption for offerings of crowdfunded securities, an issuer must use the services of an intermediary that is either a broker registered with the SEC or a “funding portal” registered with the SEC.

Treasury Request for Public Input on Expanding Access to Credit through Online Marketplace Lending

“Online marketplace lending refers to the segment of the financial services industry that uses investment capital and data-driven online platforms to lend to small businesses and consumers.”[1]

On July 20, the Department of the Treasury published a Notice and Request for Information (“RFI”) seeking comment on various aspects of online marketplace lending, including –

  • the business models and products offered to small businesses and consumers
  • the potential to expand access to credit to underserved market segments
  • how the financial regulatory framework should evolve to support the growth of the industry
  • Treasury asks for comment on 14 categories of questions, some of which include multiple specific questions, which we summarize and, with respect to some, offer initial thoughts on below.

To view the full article, please click here.


[1] 80 Fed. Reg. 42866 (July 20, 2015)

Financial Regulators Release 2014 Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Examination Manual

On December 2, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released the revised Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) Examination Manual. The revisions clarify supervisory expectations and incorporate regulatory changes since the manual’s 2010 update. The revisions incorporate feedback from the banking industry and examination staff.

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and State Liaison Committee revised the manual in collaboration with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the administrator of the BSA, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). FinCEN and OFAC collaborated on the revisions made to the sections that address compliance with the regulations and sanctions programs that FinCEN and OFAC administer and enforce.  ManualRelease.

Treasury Issues Proposed Rules to Enhance Financial Transparency

On July 30, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S Department of the Treasury proposed rules under the Bank Secrecy Act to clarify and strengthen customer due diligence requirements for banks and other financial institutions (including brokers or dealers in securities, mutual funds, futures commission merchants and introducing brokers in commodities) in an effort to help prevent the use of anonymous companies to engage in or launder the proceeds of illegal activity in the U.S. financial sector.  Comments must be submitted within 60 days of the proposal’s publication in the Federal Register.  ReleaseNotice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Fed, Treasury Proposed Amendments to Bank Secrecy Act Definitions

On November 29, the Fed and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a bureau of the Treasury, proposed amended definitions of “funds transfer” and “transmittal of funds” under the regulations implementing the Bank Secrecy Act.  The proposed amendments maintain the current scope of funds transfers and transmittals subject to the Bank Secrecy Act following amendments to the Electronic Fund Transfer Act made pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act.  Comments must be submitted no later than January 25, 2013. Fed Release.   Fed Proposed Rule.