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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Fed targets Swiss bank for BSA/AML compliance deficiencies

Federal Issues Federal Reserve Enforcement Anti-Money Laundering Bank Secrecy Act Compliance Risk Management Of Interest to Non-US Persons

Federal Issues

On December 22, the Federal Reserve Board announced an enforcement action against a Swiss bank for alleged Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) compliance risk management deficiencies found during a 2019 examination of the bank’s New York branch. The consent order outlines a number of corporate compliance and governance measures that the bank is required to undertake, such as: (i) submitting a joint written plan by the board of directors, risk committee, and senior management within 90 days that outlines measures for strengthening their respective oversight of the bank’s U.S. operations’ compliance, including “provid[ing] for a sustainable governance framework that, at a minimum, addresses, considers, and includes actions to improve policies, procedures, and controls for BSA/AML compliance across the U.S. operations”; (ii) providing a written revised customer due diligence program for the New York branch within 90 days, which must outline measures such as risk-based policies and procedures to ensure complete and accurate customer information is collected, retained, and analyzed for all account holders; (iii) submitting a revised suspicious activity monitoring and reporting program demonstrating that the New York branch is engaging in timely suspicious activity monitoring and reporting; and (iv) implementing independent testing within the New York branch to ensure compliance with all applicable BSA/AML requirements.

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