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01/27/2017

Written agreement with South Korean bank

Nonghyup Bank, Seoul, Korea, and its New York City branch have executed a written agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. A recent examination of the branch identified deficiencies relating to the branch’s risk management and compliance with applicable federal and state laws, rules, and regulations relating to anti-money laundering compliance, including the Bank Secrecy Act rules and regulations.

01/26/2017

FTC to host ID theft awareness week events

The Federal Trade Commission will mark Tax Identity Theft Week, January 30 – February 3, with a series of events to alert consumers and businesses about ways they can minimize their risk of tax identity theft, and recover if it happens. The week will feature special events for consumers, tax professionals, small businesses and veterans. The Commission will join with the IRS, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the AARP Fraud Watch Network and others to discuss tax identity theft, IRS imposter scams, cybersecurity and identity theft recovery.

01/20/2017

Western Union pays $586M for fraud and money laundering

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that the Western Union Company, a global money services business headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, has agreed to forfeit $586 million and enter into agreements with the Federal Trade Commission, the Justice Department, and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the Central District of California, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Southern District of Florida. In its agreement with the Justice Department, Western Union admits to criminal violations including willfully failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and aiding and abetting wire fraud. The forfeited money will fund restitution payments to consumers who were harmed by the company's unlawful actions.

In a related action, FinCEN announced it has issued a consent assessment of a civil money penalty of $184 million against Western Union Financial Services, Inc. (WUFSI). WUFSI consented to FinCEN’s determination that prior to 2012, WUFSI willfully violated the Bank Secrecy Act’s anti-money laundering (AML) requirements by failing to implement and maintain an effective, risk-based AML program and by failing to file timely suspicious activity reports (SARs). FinCEN’s penalty is in conjunction with the actions by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and will be satisfied by Western Union's forfeiture to the U.S. Treasury.

For further details on this story, see "Western Union forfeits $586M for AML violations and consumer fraud," in our Penalties pages.

01/18/2017

OFAC sanctions Balkan president

OFAC has designated Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska, one of two entities that make up Bosnia and Herzegovina. Specifically, Dodik was designated for his role in defying the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in violation of the rule of law, thereby actively obstructing the Dayton Accords; he was also designated for conduct that poses a significant risk of actively obstructing the same. See our OFAC Update for additional information.

01/17/2017

ANPR comments extended on enhanced cyber risk management standards

The Federal Reserve, FDIC and OCC have announced the extension through February 17, 2017, of the comment period for their advance notice of proposed rulemaking on enhanced cyber risk management standards for large and interconnected entities under their supervision and those entities’ service providers. The agencies are considering five categories of cyber standards: cyber risk governance, cyber risk management, internal dependency management, external dependency management, and incident response, cyber resilience, and situational awareness. This announcement extends the comment period by one month.

01/17/2017

Canadian bank pays $0.5M to settle OFAC violations

OFAC has announced that Toronto-Dominion Bank (“TD Bank”), a financial institution headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, has agreed to remit $516,105 to settle its potential civil liability for 167 apparent violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), and of the Iranian Transactions Sanctions Regulations (ITSR). OFAC also has issued a Finding of Violation to TD Bank, the parent company of wholly owned subsidiaries Internaxx Bank SA and TD Waterhouse Investment Services for 3,491 violations of the CACR and ITSR.

01/13/2017

OFAC guidance on provision of services under sanctions laws

OFAC has announced the publication of guidance on the provision of certain services relating to the requirements of U.S. sanctions laws (the “Compliance Services Guidance”). The Compliance Services Guidance does not reflect a change in OFAC’s policy with respect to the provision of these types of legal and compliance services. The Compliance Services Guidance responds to numerous inquiries received by OFAC, many from foreign companies at outreach events, relating to whether U.S. persons, including U.S. attorneys and compliance personnel, may provide certain services described in that guidance. OFAC is also publishing a number of new Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to the Compliance Services Guidance.

01/13/2017

OFAC adds non-proliferation and Syria designations

OFAC has announced it has taken action in response to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) - United Nations (UN) Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) findings that the Syrian regime used industrial chlorine as a weapon against its own people. OFAC is designating 18 senior regime officials connected to Syria’s weapons of mass destruction program and identifying five Syrian military branches as part of the Government of Syria. Any property or interest in property of the identified persons in the possession or control of U.S. persons or within the United States must be blocked. Additionally, transactions by U.S. persons involving these persons are generally prohibited. See our OFAC Update for more information.

01/13/2017

New York issues updated cybersecurity regs

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has announced that it has updated its proposed first-in-the-nation cybersecurity regulation to protect New York State from the ever-growing threat of cyber-attacks. The proposed regulation, which will be effective March 1, 2017, will require banks, insurance companies, and other financial services institutions regulated by DFS to establish and maintain a cybersecurity program designed to protect consumers and ensure the safety and soundness of New York State’s financial services industry. The updated proposed regulation, which was submitted to the New York State Register on December 15, and published on December 28, will be finalized following a 30-day notice and public comment period.

01/12/2017

OFAC sanctions North Korean officials and agencies

OFAC has designated seven individuals and identified as blocked two entities of the North Korean regime in response to the regime’s ongoing and serious human rights abuses and censorship activities. Treasury is taking this action in conjunction with the State Department’s “Report on Serious Human Rights Abuses or Censorship in North Korea,” which is being submitted in accordance with the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016. As a result of these actions, any property or interest in property of those designated by OFAC within U.S. jurisdiction is frozen. Additionally, transactions by U.S. persons involving the designated persons are generally prohibited. The identifications of two entities as blocked were issued pursuant to E.O. 13722, which, among others, blocks the property and interests in property of the Government of North Korea and the Workers’ Party of Korea, including those two entities. See our OFAC Update for additional information.

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UDAAP Reality Check

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Stop That Payment!

Bankers must understand the differences between the use of their systems' stop payment functionality and the actual right to stop payment

Penalties View All

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