How will the AML Act of 2020 (the “Act”) Required Examiner Training Impact your Financial Institution?

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Section 6307 of the Act requires annual Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism training for Examiners.  The training is to be done in consultation with FinCEN and all levels of law enforcement, including federal, state, tribal, and local. 
 

Training Requirement Defined by Section 6307

Each Federal examiner reviewing Bank Secrecy Act compliance with the, shall attend appropriate annual training, as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, relating to anti-money laundering activities and countering the financing of terrorism, including with respect to:

  • Potential risk profiles and warning signs that an examiner may encounter during examinations.
  • Financial crime patterns and trends.
  • The high-level context for why anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism programs are necessary for law enforcement agencies and other national security agencies and what risks those programs seek to mitigate.
  • De-risking and the effect of de-risking on the provision of financial services.

Training Materials and Standards Defined by Section 6307

The Secretary of the US Treasury shall, in consultation with the Financial Institutions Examination Council, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and Federal, State, Tribal, and local law enforcement agencies, establish appropriate training materials and standards for use during the required training.   

Full Convergence for Federal Examiners  

The Act of 2020 makes significant new changes to the BSA.  Under the Act, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General, Federal functional regulators, State financial regulators, and national security agencies, shall establish and make public priorities for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism policy.  Moreover, not less frequently than once every 4 years, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General, Federal functional regulators, State financial regulators and national security agencies, shall update the priorities established.  

Financial Institutions ought to be aware that government agencies, including the U.S. Treasury, FinCEN, and the federal banking agencies (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) are coming together as “a single unit” of information sharing and regulation.  There is an “interrelation” occurring as a result of the analysis capabilities that “Big Data” offers when combined with technical capabilities (such as the FinCEN Query) and artificial intelligence.

Not the right time to cost-cut compliance efforts due to the Convergence that is occurring

The Convergence indicates that oversight and enforcement is intensifying.  U.S. Enforcement Authorities sharing resources signals a more cohesive enforcement approach.  And each of the agencies wants the Financial Institutions that it regulates to separately allocate and finance staffing and training to comply with these “interrelated laws and regulations”.  

Financial Institutions ought to reinforce and update all compliance efforts, policies, and procedures. In order to comply with the AML ACT of 2020.

Employee training and regular tested continuing education to mitigate risks is imperative.

Financial Institutions ought to consult their Corporate Governance Compliance Expert.

Will your Financial Institution be ready?

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