Federal Banking Agencies and FinCEN Seek to Clarify BSA/AML Enforcement

28 August 2020
View Debevoise In Depth
Key takeaways:
  • On August 13, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“Banking Agencies”) published a “Joint Statement on Enforcement of Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Requirements.” On August 18, 2020, FinCEN published a “Statement on Enforcement of the Bank Secrecy Act.”
  • The two statements offer clarity to financial institutions on how regulatory authorities will address BSA/AML-related enforcement, a traditionally opaque process.
  • We summarize the statements, highlight key similarities and differences between them, and consider how they shape the enforcement landscape for financial institutions. In particular, the Banking Agencies’ statement reinforces the importance of the supervisory process, and both statements emphasize that the agencies will reserve the most severe consequences for institutions that have significant, programmatic deficiencies in their BSA/AML programs.