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#2165528 - 02/22/18 09:26 PM OFAC Search / Wires / Rention
fmissle Offline
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Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 996
Pac NW
We process both incoming and outgoing wires through our correspondent bank using an online platform.
During the processing of the wires, we are currently checking OFAC on both their platform and our core system. This duplicate process is a leftover from our previous correspondent bank that I'm trying to get rid of.

We scan the wire form, wire confirmation and core OFAC search and upload into the platform. Those are then downloaded quarterly in an archive to maintain a local record. The local archive does not contain the fact that the transaction went through an OFAC search or the results. The information is available on the online platform for as long as it exists or (I assume) we remain customers.

My question is this...
While there are no specific retention requirements for OFAC searches which don't result in a match, it's certainly nice to be able to show the search to an auditor or examiner and say... "this is our process, here are the results". But what if we are no longer a customer and can't retrieve those OFAC search records. Can I just say.. "Hey, take my word for it? We really searched and got no results!"
I haven't seen that be an effective response to a request for documentation of our procedures in the past.

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#2165565 - 02/23/18 12:40 PM Re: OFAC Search / Wires / Rention fmissle
bcompliance Offline
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Personally, I'd want documentation. I think an auditor/examiner would be all over that (they have been in the past here).
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#2165570 - 02/23/18 01:20 PM Re: OFAC Search / Wires / Rention fmissle
GrannieTwo Offline
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Central IL
Fmissle - Have your auditors ever brought this up as an issue? My bank does the same thing, retains the information on the platform but our auditors made us created an Excel spreadsheet showing the date and time of the OFAC update and then the findings of the OFAC check. I'm a firm believer in CYA, so I save the OFAC update email and the results from OFAC check in a folder. Is it possible that you could do this?
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#2165577 - 02/23/18 01:58 PM Re: OFAC Search / Wires / Rention fmissle
Elwood P. Dowd Offline
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Banks are not required to perform OFAC searches. Accordingly, they cannot be required to prove that OFAC searches were done; i.e. there is no record retention requirement. Examiners are trained to look at the bank's procedures then test for evidence that the bank follows its procedures. How that works varies from one bank to the next, but how long you keep your evidence is simply from one exam to the next.
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#2165578 - 02/23/18 02:01 PM Re: OFAC Search / Wires / Rention fmissle
rlcarey Online
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rlcarey
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Galveston, TX
Many banks have a OFAC check box on their wire transfer order or similar source document for bank use only. The box is checked and initialed by the person doing the OFAC check noting the date and time and the results. Why do you need a copy of the actual scan? If you want to test if it was done correctly, you just rerun the names through an OFAC test system. This documentation is then maintained with the wire transfer archive file. Don't over complicate this process.
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#2165584 - 02/23/18 02:16 PM Re: OFAC Search / Wires / Rention fmissle
Lilly C Offline
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Sunny Florida
Like rlcarey said, we also have a box in our wire transfer forms. However, our core system produces a report for the OFAC suspect and OFAC no match inquiries made. That has been sufficient to show all auditors and examiners.

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#2165596 - 02/23/18 02:56 PM Re: OFAC Search / Wires / Rention rlcarey
bcompliance Offline
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Joined: Sep 2014
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Originally Posted By rlcarey
Many banks have a OFAC check box on their wire transfer order or similar source document for bank use only. The box is checked and initialed by the person doing the OFAC check noting the date and time and the results. Why do you need a copy of the actual scan? If you want to test if it was done correctly, you just rerun the names through an OFAC test system. This documentation is then maintained with the wire transfer archive file. Don't over complicate this process.


This was our process and we had an exam finding because we couldn't "prove" the search was being conducted. We did not win the argument.
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#2165602 - 02/23/18 03:01 PM Re: OFAC Search / Wires / Rention bcompliance
Elwood P. Dowd Offline
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Next to Harvey
Again, there is no requirement to prove a specific OFAC search was done. The fact that you did not win the argument does not prove that you should have lost the argument...

Sometimes you ask for a citation to authority as foreplay for asking for the ombudsman.
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#2165604 - 02/23/18 03:06 PM Re: OFAC Search / Wires / Rention fmissle
bcompliance Offline
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I agree Ken. The decision was not up to me.
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#2165631 - 02/23/18 04:13 PM Re: OFAC Search / Wires / Rention fmissle
fmissle Offline
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Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 996
Pac NW
Thanks for the discussion everyone.

It hasn't been brought up as an issue, mostly because as of now we've got documentation attached to the scanned wires. And really, unless we were to switch our correspondent or they lost all the records, we could still retrieve all of the information, it'sjust not in a single place.

One piece of information I didn't provide is the ability to download the OFAC search time and results from our correspondent bank, but only in 30 day increments.

I think what I'll do is allow the data to reside there and if we ever choose to leave, I'll just spend an hour pulling the results down to retain for the last year or so.

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#2165958 - 02/27/18 01:57 PM Re: OFAC Search / Wires / Rention fmissle
HappyGilmore Offline
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Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,534
Pulling people out of the ditc...
of course, you can always ask your auditors how long they expect you to retain this information. there is a wire retention requirement and we maintain all records pertaining to that wire for that length of time.
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