Federal banking regulators, FinCEN issue statement on Bank Secrecy Act

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Federal bank regulatory agencies along with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) have issued a joint statement on their plan to improve transparency into their approach to Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering supervision.

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The risk-focused approach allows federal regulators to better tailor examination plans and procedures based on the specific risk profile of each bank.

The joint statement outlines standard practices for assessing a bank’s money laundering/terrorist financing risk profile. This will assist examiners in scoping and planning the examination and initially evaluating the adequacy of the Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) compliance program. Through this approach, the agencies can allocate more resources to higher-risk areas and fewer resources to lower-risk areas when conducting BSA/AML examinations. A risk-based compliance program, they said, enables a bank to allocate compliance resources commensurate with its risk. It does not establish new requirements.

A working group aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the BSA/AML process developed the statement. Members of the working group were from the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and FinCEN. This is the third statement on the matter that the working group has issued.
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