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

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

What Does FinCEN’s Proposed AML Rule Really Mean For Registered Investment Advisers?

Federal regulators are on the brink of finalizing proposed anti-money laundering (“AML”) regulations for Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”)-registered investment advisers (and those investment advisers required to...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

Obama Administration Issues Broad Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Corruption Reforms, but Questions Still Remain

On May 5, 2016, the Obama Administration announced sweeping measures designed “to combat money laundering, corruption, and tax evasion.” The announcement came on the heels of the so-called “Panama Papers,” which revealed...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

FinCEN Requires Financial Institutions to Obtain Beneficial Ownership

FinCEN’s new CIP beneficial owner rules may hinder the ability of shell and nominee companies to directly access the US financial system without disclosing the natural persons who own 25% or more of the company. Pooled...more

Federal Reserve Bank Ruled a Federal Supervisory Agency Under the BSA

In a case of first impression, a district court held that a regional Federal Reserve Bank was a supervisory agent as defined by the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”). The BSA requires the reporting of any suspicious activity that may...more

Don’t Let The I.R.S. Define Your Conduct As Willful, or Else………

Something that most of us don’t realize is that Internal Revenue Service has stated that the taxpayer is responsible to learn IRS requirements within the historic U.S. framework of a voluntary reporting system. The IRS...more

One-Two Punch for Transparency: Beneficial Owners Outed

In an apparent effort to create the impression of strong U.S. policy response in the wake of the Panama Papers, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) announced three initiatives to promote greater transparency and...more

US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Deputy Director El-Hindi Addresses New Customer Due Diligence Rule and Beneficial...

As part of his remarks at the Institute of International Bankers Annual Anti-Money Laundering Seminar, US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Deputy Director Jamal El-Hindi discussed certain US Department of Treasury efforts...more

AML Risks and Foreign Correspondent Banking

With the Panama Papers scandal and government promises of continued aggressive AML enforcement, financial institutions face a variety of risks that require increased vigilance and mitigation strategies....more

Up Close and Personal: Individual CCO Liability – Part II

Yesterday I began an exploration of the potential individual liability of a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) based upon the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) enforcement action against Raymond James Inc. and its...more

FinCEN Issues Final Customer Due Diligence Rule

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has expanded the due diligence obligations of certain financial institutions that are subject to a customer identification program requirement under...more

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