Bank Secrecy Act

The Bank Secrecy Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1970 to detect and prevent money laundering within financial institutions. The BSA requires financial institutions to keep records and provide... more +
The Bank Secrecy Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1970 to detect and prevent money laundering within financial institutions. The BSA requires financial institutions to keep records and provide documentation to authorities for single transactions of more than $10,000 and report other suspicious account activity that could signify money laundering or other financial crimes. less -
News & Analysis as of

New York DFS Issues $180M BSA/AML Penalty

New York’s banking regulator cracked down on enforcement of the state’s anti-money laundering (AML) law, issuing a $180 million penalty against Mega International Commercial Bank of Taiwan (Mega Bank) for past violations and...more

FinCEN Associate Director for Enforcement Delivers Remarks at Title 31 Conference, Stresses Importance of Culture of Compliance

On the day after his appointment in August 2016, the Associate Director for Enforcement for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Thomas Ott, addressed the National Title 31 Suspicious Activity & Risk Assessment...more

Funds and Investment Advisers: Changes Coming in AML Compliance

Anti-money laundering (AML) regulation has continued to evolve since it was introduced in 1970 under the broad regulatory scheme commonly known as the Bank Secrecy Act. While funds and investment advisers have not been...more

Treasury Proposes Regulations That Would Require Private Trust Companies to Establish or Enhance AML Programs and to Identify...

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) published proposed regulations on August 25, 2016 that would require certain private trust companies utilized by high net worth individuals,...more

FinCEN Proposes AML Program Requirement for Banks without a Federal Functional Regulator

FinCEN has proposed extending its anti-money laundering (AML) program requirement for banks to banks that are not subject to regulation by a federal functional regulator, including state chartered limited purpose trust...more

New FinCEN Proposal Will Extend AML Rules to Currently Exempt Banks and Other Institutions

Seeking to close a perceived “gap” in regulations intended to facilitate the government’s efforts to curb money laundering and the financing of terrorism, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement...more

FinCEN Proposal Looks to Extend AML Requirements to Non-Federally Regulated Banks

On April 25, 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, proposed a rule that would require all banks, regardless of whether they are subject to regulation by a...more

FinCEN Proposal Extends AML Requirements to Banks Without a Federal Functional Regulator - Proposed Rule Would Include Trust...

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) on Aug. 25, 2016, issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (Proposed Rule) to implement Section 326 of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools...more

AML Update: The NYDFS’s New Anti-Money Laundering Regulation and its Annual Compliance Certification Requirement

This summer, one of the nation’s top state regulators for finance announced a major new AML regulation, providing a critical hook for regulatory liability for companies that lack effective anti-money laundering controls. An...more

Should Professional Service Providers Assume Greater AML Vigilance Responsibilities?

Because they are known as “gatekeepers” in the financial industry, Professional Service Providers (PSPs), Bankers, Brokers, Realtors, Casino Managers, Trust Fund Managers, Money Managers, etc., carry a level of responsibility...more

Legal Alert: New York’s New BSA/AML Rule Imposes Monitoring, Filtering and Certification Requirements

On June 30, 2016, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) adopted a new anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering (AML) regulation (Final Rule) that builds on federal anti-money laundering requirements to address...more

Are Compliance Officers at Financial Institutions Now in the Hot Seat for Fines?

Otherwise reputable Financial Institutions continue being sanctioned for regulatory non-compliance. Well known “household” names continue receiving fines for failing to establish and implement adequate Anti-Money Laundering...more

FinCEN Adopts New Customer Due Diligence Requirements for Financial Institutions

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) has adopted new anti-money laundering (“AML”) regulations that impose additional customer due diligence requirements on certain financial institutions...more

New York State Department of Financial Services Releases Final Regulations to Enhance Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions...

Final regulations impose certification requirements on a financial institution’s Board of Directors or Senior Officer(s) relating to BSA/AML and OFAC compliance. The New York State Register today published the final...more

The “Fifth Pillar” of AML/BSA Compliance FinCEN Issues Final Rule for New Customer Due Diligence Requirements under the Bank...

For years, financial institutions have operated under the maxim that an effective anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance program (collectively “AML”) rests upon four pillars: (1) written policies and...more

FinCEN Assesses Significant Penalty Against Casino for Bank Secrecy Act Violations

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) assessed on July 15 a civil money penalty in the amount of $2.8 million against Hawaiian Gardens Casino Inc., d/b/a The Gardens Casino, for Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulatory...more

New Frontier for Bank Secrecy Act Prosecutions: Trade-Based Money Laundering

Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. law enforcement and financial regulatory agencies have focused on disrupting the use of the financial system by terrorist groups, criminal organizations and tax evaders to...more

EU brings virtual currency exchanges and wallet providers under the EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive

On 5 July 2016, the European Commission (the Commission) adopted a proposal for a directive that, when passed, will begin to narrow the regulatory gap between the U.S. and the EU for virtual currency exchange platforms and...more

NY DFS Finalizes Rigorous AML/BSA Regulation

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has finalized a new regulation setting forth rigorous standards for monitoring and filtering programs to monitor transactions for potential anti-money laundering (AML) and...more

What are the Tax Consequences of BREXIT for U.S. Taxpayers?

Recently, The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Finance published a note titled "The Legal Consequence of Brexit, authored by Simon Witty. We have restated the transactional tax commentary here. We have...more

Government Investigations: Use of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and Virtual Currency

Since 2009, the US Department of Justice has implemented an aggressive anti-tax evasion strategy that has changed by targeting tax havens that host financial intermediaries (i.e., banks) to the financial intermediaries...more

Blockchain Catches a Righteous Break and Avoids Becoming Unchained

Just before the 2016 Memorial Day holiday weekend in the United States, which falls at the end of May, news outlets reported that the bipartisan effort to revolutionize the regulation of cryptography in the United States was...more

SEC Sanctions Broker-Dealer for Paper-Only AML Program

On June 1, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the first time ever charged a broker-dealer in a stand-alone action for failing to file suspicious activity reports (SARs) as required by the federal...more

Is a Hurry-Up Wire Transfer of $3 Billion on Behalf of a Malaysian Government Fund to a Little-Known Private Bank Suspicious?...

Multiple news sources are reporting that the U.S. government is conducting an investigation into whether Goldman Sachs violated the so-called Bank Secrecy Act (real and less-Orwellian name: Currency and Foreign Transactions...more

Suspicious Activity Reports: Why They Matter

The Bank Security Act (BSA) states that financial institutions have an obligation to aid law enforcement in identifying suspicious financial transactions through what is known as a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR). As banking...more

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