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Top Story Compliance Related

03/03/2021

OFAC sanctions Yemeni militants and Russian officials

The Treasury Department announced yesterday that OFAC has sanctioned two key militants of the Iranian-backed Ansarallah, sometimes referred to as the Houthis, whose actions have prolonged Yemen’s civil war and exacerbated the country’s humanitarian crisis. Treasury said that Mansur Al-Sa’adi and Ahmad ‘Ali Ahsan al-Hamzi are responsible for orchestrating attacks by Houthi forces impacting Yemeni civilians, bordering nations, and commercial vessels in international waters. Those actions, which were done to advance the Iranian regime’s destabilizing agenda, have fueled the Yemeni conflict, displacing more than one million people and pushing Yemen to the brink of famine.

Treasury also announced that OFAC joined the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce in imposing sanctions in response to Russia’s poisoning and subsequent imprisonment of Russian opposition figure Aleksey Navalny. Specifically, OFAC designated seven Russian government officials: Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Aleksandr Bortnikov, Chief of the Presidential Policy Directorate Andrei Yarin, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Kiriyenko, Deputy Minister of Defense Aleksey Krivoruchko, Deputy Minister of Defense Pavel Popov, Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) director Alexander Kalashnikov, and Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov pursuant to Executive Order 13661 for serving as officials of the Russian government. OFAC also designated Bortnikov pursuant to E.O. 13382 for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Federal Security Service (FSB).

Identify information for those designated by these two OFAC actions can be found in yesterday's BankersOnline OFAC Update.

03/03/2021

OCC issues three Outstanding CRA ratings

The OCC has released a list of 13 Community Reinvestment Act performance evaluations that were made public in February. Nine of the evaluations listed were rated satisfactory and one was rated needs to improve. Our congratulations to these three banks whose evaluations received outstanding ratings:

03/02/2021

Whistleblowers awarded over $500,000

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced an award of over $500,000 to two whistleblowers whose tips revealed an ongoing fraud and resulted in multiple SEC actions and a related action from another government agency. Both whistleblowers provided substantial, ongoing assistance that conserved the agencies’ time and resources.

Approximately $753 million has been awarded to 140 individuals since the SEC issued its first award in 2012. All payments are made out of an investor protection fund established by Congress that is financed entirely through monetary sanctions paid to the Commission by securities law violators. No money has been taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards. Whistleblowers may be eligible for an award when they voluntarily provide the Commission with original, timely, and credible information that leads to a successful enforcement action. Awards can range from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected when the monetary sanctions exceed $1 million.

03/02/2021

FEMA schedules community suspensions from flood program

FEMA has published [86 FR 12117] in the March 2, 2021, Federal Register a notice that communities in Florida, Minnesota, Missouri and Ohio have been scheduled for suspension from the National Flood Insurance Program on March 9, 2021, for noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. The communities listed are:

  • Florida: Port St. Joe and unincorporated areas of Gulf County
  • Minnesota: Plummer and unincorporated areas of Red Lake County
  • Missouri: Unincorporated areas of St. Charles County
  • Ohio: Amherst, Avon Lake, Defiance, Lorain, Sheffield, Sheffield Lake, Vermilion, and unincorporated areas of Lorain County

If FEMA receives before March 9 the required documentation that a listed community has adopted the floodplain management requirements, the community will not be suspended.

03/01/2021

FDIC posts 2nd and 3rd quarter CRA exam schedules

The FDIC has posted CRA examination schedules for the second and third quarters of 2021.

03/01/2021

IRS reminder to businesses to file Form 8300

The IRS has issued a reminder to businesses of their responsibility to file Form 8300, Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 and encourages e-filing to help them file accurate, complete forms. Although many cash transactions are legitimate, information reported on Form 8300 can help stop those who evade taxes, profit from drug trading, engage in terrorist financing and conduct other criminal activities. The government can often trace money from these illegal activities through payments reported on complete, accurate forms.

To help businesses prepare and file reports, the IRS created a video on How to Complete Form 8300 – Part I, Part II. The short video points out sections of Form 8300 in which the IRS commonly finds mistakes and explains how to accurately complete those sections.

03/01/2021

U.S. sanctions former Saudi official and Rapid Intervention Force

OFAC has sanctioned Ahmad Hassan Mohammed al Asiri, Saudi Arabia’s former Deputy Head of General Intelligence Presidency, and Saudi Arabia’s Rapid Intervention Force in connection with the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The designations were made pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world. Identity information can be found in BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

02/26/2021

FFIEC BSA/AML Exam Manual updates

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has released updates to four sections of the FFIEC Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) Examination Manual:

The updates should not be interpreted as new instructions or as a new or increased focus on certain areas; instead, they offer further transparency into the examination process and support risk-focused examination work.

The Manual provides instructions to examiners for assessing the adequacy of a bank’s or credit union’s BSA/AML compliance program and its compliance with BSA regulatory requirements. The Manual itself does not establish requirements for banks; such requirements are found in statutes and regulations.

02/26/2021

FATF Plenary Meeting report

The Treasury Department has announced that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) concluded its second plenary meeting during the German FATF presidency, its third virtual plenary since the start of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The FATF advanced its work on several important issues, including finalizing a non-public report on terrorist financing and agreeing to seek public comment on updated guidance documents on virtual assets and proliferation finance.

02/25/2021

OCC CRA evaluation schedules announced

The OCC has released its schedule of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) evaluations to be conducted in the second and third quarters of 2021.

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