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Agencies clarify guidance for banking hemp-related businesses

On Tuesday, December 3, the Board of Governors, FDIC, FinCEN, OCC, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors jointly released a statement, "Joint Guidance on Providing Financial Services to Customers Engaged in Hemp-Related Businesses," clarifying the legal status of hemp growth and production, and the relevant requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act for banks providing services to hemp-related businesses. The statement—

  • emphasizes that banks are no longer required to file SARs for customers solely because they are engaged in the growth or cultivation of hemp in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. For hemp-related customers, banks are expected to follow standard SAR procedures, and file a SAR if signs of suspicious activity warrant filing.
  • provides banks with background information on the legal status of hemp, the USDA's interim final rule on the production of hemp, and the BSA considerations when providing banking services to hemp-related businesses.
  • indicates that FinCEN will issue additional guidance after further reviewing and evaluating the USDA interim final rule.
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