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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

OCC Issues Consent Order to U.S. Branch of International Bank, Requires Development of BSA/AML Program

Financial Crimes Bank Secrecy Act OCC OFAC Anti-Money Laundering

Financial Crimes

As previously reported in InfoBytes, on March 17 the OCC released its list of enforcement actions taken in February against national banks, federal savings associations, and current and former affiliated individuals. Among those actions is a consent order issued on February 13 against a U.S. branch of a Curacao-based subsidiary of a United Arab Emirates bank for allegedly failing to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act’s anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) rules and requirements, failing to timely file suspicious activity reports (SARs), and failing to conduct adequate due diligence on foreign correspondent accounts. The consent order, among other things, requires the U.S. branch to: (i) create and submit a comprehensive BSA/AML compliance action plan; (ii) appoint a BSA officer who will “ensure compliance with the requirements of the BSA and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)”; (iii) review, update, and implement an enhanced written ongoing BSA/AML Risk Assessment and a separate OFAC Risk Assessment process to timely identify and analyze risk categories; (iv) acquire an independent third-party consultant to conduct a “Look Back” plan to determine whether suspicious activity was timely identified and reported by the branch; (v) develop and implement a written program to ensure the timely review of BSA/AML suspicious activity alerts and filing of SARs; and (vi) create a comprehensive training program for “appropriate operational and supervisory personnel.”

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