FinCEN, federal banking agencies provide CIP program relief
On October 9, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), in concurrence with the OCC, Federal Reserve, FDIC, and NCUA (collectively, “federal banking agencies”), issued an interagency order granting an exemption from the requirements of the customer identification program (CIP) rules for insurance premium finance loans extended by banks to all customers. The exemption is intended to facilitate insurance premium finance lending for the purchase of property and casualty insurance policies and will apply to loans extended by banks and their subsidiaries, subject to the federal banking agencies’ jurisdiction. According to FinCEN, insurance premium finance loans present a low risk for money laundering due to the purpose for which the loans are extended and the limitations on how such funds may be used. Moreover, FinCEN emphasized that “property and casualty insurance policies themselves are not an effective means for transferring illicit funds.” Banks, however, must still comply with all other regulatory requirements, including those implementing the Bank Secrecy Act that require the filing of suspicious activity reports. Furthermore, the federal banking agencies determined that the order is consistent with safe and sound banking practices. The order supersedes a September 2018 order, which previously granted an exemption from the CIP rule requirements for commercial customers (covered by InfoBytes here).