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

FinCrimes Update - Summary, Volumn 1, Issue 4

FDIC RESTRICTS BANK’S CARD BUSINESSES PENDING BSA COMPLIANCE ENHANCEMENTS - On June 5, the FDIC and a Delaware bank entered a consent order that prohibits the bank from entering into any new relationships with...more

Digital Commerce & Payments Update

In this Issue: - Insights & Trends ..The Future of Regulation in the Digital Economy - Virtual Currency ..GAO Urges CFPB Participation In Virtual Currency Working Groups ..Trade Group White Paper...more

OCC Report Highlights Cybersecurity, BSA-AML, Indirect Auto Underwriting Concerns

On June 25, the OCC published its semiannual risk report, which provides an overview of the agency’s supervisory concerns for national banks and federal savings associations, including operational and compliance risks....more

FDIC Restricts Bank’s Card Businesses Pending BSA Compliance Enhancements

On June 5, the FDIC and a Delaware bank entered a consent order that prohibits the bank from entering into any new relationships with third-party prepaid card processors or prepaid card program managers until the FDIC...more

June 30 Deadline Approaches for Mandatory E-File FBAR Reporting

2014 presents particular challenges with respect to FBAR, the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, for certain U.S. persons with interests in or signature authority over assets exceeding $10,000 held outside the...more

BNP Paribas and La Résistance: Why Compliance is not Capitulation and Cooperation Could Save an Economy

I will start by saying I am a proud Francophile. I love many things about French culture; from the just-right draw of their espresso (sorry, Italy, that ristretto is just too short and bitter) to the sacrosanct treatment of...more

Corporate Compliance Officers Face Threat of Civil Monetary Penalties and Criminal Prosecution for Institutional AML Deficiencies

While financial institutions have long faced the possibility of civil monetary penalties and criminal prosecution for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) and its implementing regulations, found at 31 C.F.R. Chapter X,...more

Broker, Two Employees Alleged to Violate SEC Market Access Rule

The Commission’s inspection program, conducted by the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations or OCIE, has been the source of a number of enforcement actions. One example is the recently filed case against dark pool...more

Will the Zwerner FBAR Fine Pass Constitutional Muster?

Last week, a federal jury in Miami found that Carl Zwerner had willfully failed to disclose his foreign bank account to the Treasury Department for calendar years 2004, 2005 and 2006. Zwerner now potentially owes the United...more

Regulators Increasingly Pursue Individual Liability for Money-Laundering Violations

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an arm of the U.S. Department of Treasury, recently fined a Miami-based money services business (MSB) and its owner $10,000 for failing to implement proper anti-money...more

FBAR Penalty to Face Excessive Fines Clause Test

Last week, a federal jury in Miami found that Carl Zwerner had willfully failed to disclose his foreign bank account to the Treasury Department for calendar years 2004, 2005 and 2006. Zwerner now potentially owes the United...more

Who is a Whistleblower Under Dodd-Frank? Courts Disagree.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act protects employees who blow the whistle on possible securities law violations. But the question of who qualifies as a whistleblower continues to divide courts, as...more

Hazards Abound for Companies Seeking to Accept Bitcoin

The Bitcoin “Cryptocurrency” has gained momentum in the market, and some businesses, including Overstock. com and TigerDirect.com, now accept bitcoins as payment. Many others are wondering if Bitcoin is a good fit for...more

AML/BSA Compliance Program Best Practices

I am always wary of definitive “best practices” lists. By definition, “best practices” vary depending on the size and nature of an organization in any compliance context....more

AML Compliance: The Four Pillars

With all the attention to Anti-Money Laundering and Bank Secrecy Act enforcement, I thought it would be a good time to review some basic AML ethics and compliance principles....more

BNA's Banking Report: Enforcement 2013: Enforcement Actions Continue Three-Year Decline; DOJ Emerges as Major Player

Overall Trends & Outlook - From an enforcement standpoint, 2013 was another historic year in a number of important ways beyond the sheer number of cases, which were again significant. Federal banking agencies1 issued...more

FinCEN Issues Five Advisory Rulings Concerning the Application of the Bank Secrecy Act’s Definition of “Money Transmitter” to...

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) published five administrative rulings (collectively, the “Rulings,” and each a “Ruling”) concerning the applicability of certain exemptions from money transmitter status to...more

FinCEN Issues Five Rulings On Application Of BSA Regulations To Certain Activities

On April 29, FinCEN issued five rulings in response to companies who sought clarification regarding whether their company is a money service business under the BSA. In FIN-2014-R006, FinCEN determined that a company that...more

Indicted Banker May Provide Valuable Leads

The following is an excerpt from a press release issued April 30, 2014 by Department of Justice, Tax Division (DOJ) announcing the indictment of a former senior officer of the Beverly Hills branch of an Israeli bank. The...more

Despite FinCEN and Department of Justice Guidance, Difficulties Remain for Financial Institutions Providing Services to...

As more States move towards the legalization of marijuana in various forms and to various degrees, marijuana is quickly becoming a growing and profitable industry. Despite changing state legislation, the federal government...more

FinCEN Announces Enforcement Action Over MSB’s Currency Transaction Reporting

On April 24, FinCEN released an assessment of civil money penalty against a Florida money services business (MSB) and its owner for failing to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act’s program, reporting, and recordkeeping...more

Revisiting The Corporate Top-10 FCPA Enforcement Actions

We all like organized lists. Short and sweet is easier to understand and ignore nuances. Even in our FCPA world, we track settlements by a top-10 lost. The concept of a top-10 predated David Letterman’s top-10 lists, and...more

Marijuana, Banking, and the “10-Foot Pole”

On February 14, 2014, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued guidance aimed at clarifying Bank Secrecy Act expectations for financial institutions interested in providing services to marijuana-related...more

Deadlines Coming for Multinationals’ Retirement Plans and U.S. Taxpayers with Foreign Financial Interests

In 2010, the U.S. enacted a sweeping change in enforcement of its tax laws on foreign financial interests, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The main thrust of the act is to penalize foreign financial...more

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

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