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

AML Enforcement Jitters And Due Diligence

The Justice Department and the financial regulatory agencies have sent a strong message of enforcement, suggesting that financial institutions are not adequately implementing AML compliance controls....more

Comptroller Curry Addresses Senior Management’s AML Compliance Responsibilities, Criticizes “De-Risking”

On March 17, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry reaffirmed his agency’s views with regard to BSA/AML compliance and the responsibilities of senior bank managers and boards of directors. Mr. Curry asserted that BSA...more

Comptroller Curry Discusses Banks’ Progress in Meeting BSA Compliance Obligations; States that Senior Executives and Boards Should...

In a speech presented to the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists on March 17, 2014, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry said that the OCC is seeing progress in terms of the priority that senior...more

Financial Services Law - Mar 14, 2014

State and Federal Lawmakers, Chair of Fed Weigh in on Regulation of Virtual Currency - The New York Department of Financial Services issued an order on Wednesday that it will immediately start accepting applications...more

House Democrats Request Guidance On Banking Access For Marijuana Businesses

On March 5, a group of 16 Democratic U.S. House members sent letters to the leaders of the Federal Reserve Board, the OCC, the FDIC, and the NCUA requesting that the agencies issue guidance that would provide legitimate...more

Financial Industry Should Remain Cautious Despite Marijuana Banking Guidance

The sale of medical or recreational marijuana is legal in at least twenty states and the District of Columbia. The sale of the drug generates a lot of cash. But banks have been reluctant to permit marijuana-related businesses...more

Financial Services Law - Feb 28, 2014

Light ’em Up: FinCEN’s Cautionary Guidance About Banks Working With Marijuana Companies - The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s new guidance on how to work with marijuana-related businesses is unlikely to make it...more

Protection Against Discovery of SARs and Related Internal Investigation Documents Given Resounding Endorsement by Washington State...

The Bank Secrecy Act prohibits financial institutions from producing Suspicious Activity Reports and documents related to internal monitoring and investigations that are intended to “detect fraud and money laundering.” The...more

FinCEN Issues Guidance for Financial Institutions Seeking to Provide Services to Marijuana-Related Businesses

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued guidance (the “Guidance”) to clarify FinCEN’s expectations as to how financial institutions (“FIs” and each an “FI”) will meet their compliance requirements under the...more

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Update: FinCEN Issues Guidance For Financial Institutions Providing Services To Marijuana-Related...

On February 14, 2014, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued its guidance “BSA Expectations Regarding Marijuana-Related Businesses” in an effort to clarify Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) expectations for...more

Toke on This: FinCEN Issues Guidelines for Marijuana-Related Businesses

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) got a whiff of the fact that financial institutions provide services to burgeoning marijuana-related businesses and published guidance to clarify customer due diligence...more

FinCEN Director Reinforces Enforcement And Compliance Themes, Highlights Risks For Securities Firms

On January 30, in remarks to SIFMA’s AML and Financial Crimes Conference, FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery stressed the importance of establishing a “culture of compliance” at financial institutions to support...more

The Legalized Marijuana Industry’s Evolution Is An Exercise In Banking Compliance

On Jan. 1, recreational marijuana officially went on sale in Colorado, marking the first state in the Union to permit the recreational sale and use of marijuana. For the last year — following the passage of Amendment 64,...more

SDNY U.S. Attorney Details BSA/AML Enforcement Plans

On January 27, during a speech to certified AML compliance specialists, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, stressed BSA/AML enforcement as a top priority for his office. Mr. Bharara...more

FinCEN Issues Additional Clarifications Regarding Bitcoin and other Convertible Virtual Currency Activities

On January 30, 2014, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued two administrative rulings that address the application of Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) regulations to convertible virtual currency-related...more

FinCEN Rules on Status of Virtual Currency Miners and Investors as Money Service Businesses

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued two rulings regarding the status of virtual currency miners and investors as money service businesses (MSB) under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). The rulings address...more

FinCEN Issues MSB Guidance for Bitcoin Miners, Investors and Software Developers

On January 30, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) published two administrative rulings (Administrative Rulings) clarifying that certain participants in the Bitcoin economy (and other convertible virtual...more

FinCEN Issues Administrative Rulings on Virtual Currency Related to Miners and Investors

Prompted by requests, FinCEN published two administrative rulings on the application of its regulations requiring money services businesses to be registered under the Bank Secrecy Act. ...more

Federal Prosecutors Unseal Charges Against Bitcoin Exchange Company

On January 27, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced the unsealing of criminal charges against an underground Bitcoin exchanger and the CEO of a Bitcoin exchange company registered as a money...more

US: FinCEN further clarifies application of money transmission rules to virtual currency

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (a branch of the US Treasury) has published two administrative rulings, providing additional information on whether a person’s conduct related to convertible virtual currency brings...more

Fake-Hair Companies Settle Money-Laundering Charges

U.S. regulators signaled their intention to continue aggressive enforcement of anti-money laundering (AML) laws by using the Bank Secrecy Act — a law generally used to target large banks and financial institutions — to charge...more

Two Non-U.S. Banks Agree to Pay Penalties Totaling $160 Million for Violations of U.S. Sanctions Laws Resulting from Omnibus...

Recent enforcement actions brought by the U.S. Government against non-U.S. banks for violations of U.S. sanctions laws demonstrate the need for financial institutions, particularly those that act as custodians or financial...more

Courts are Consistently Ruling that the Act of Production Privilege Will Not Defeat Grand Jury Subpoenas Calling for Foreign Bank...

On December 13, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued its decision in United States of America v. Under Seal. On December 19, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its...more

FBAR Update

The Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) can no longer be filed on TDF 90-22.1, and must be e-filed on Form 114. This alert summarizes developments involving FBAR e-filing and signature authority. They are...more

More fallout from Silk Road

Another set of Bitcoin-related arrests for failing to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act. Interestingly, investors in one of the companies include the Winkelvoss twins. Anyone who is involved in Bitcoin or other virtual...more

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