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Treasury issues Belarus-related general license

Treasury has announced the authorization by general license of transactions involving certain Belarusian entities previously blocked pursuant to an Executive Order. The general license does not generally authorize the release of property blocked by the Order.


FAQ on cybersecurity assessment tool

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has announced it has issued an FAQ guide related to the Cybersecurity Assessment Tool (Assessment). The FAQ guide answers questions and clarifies points in the Assessment and supporting materials based on questions received by the FFIEC members over the course of the last year. The FFIEC members developed the Assessment to help financial institutions’ management determine their risk profile and determine the institutions’ inherent risks and cybersecurity preparedness.


OFAC and Commerce ease Cuba restrictions

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced the amendment of the OFAC Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) to implement the new U.S. policy direction towards Cuba. Among other things, these amendments authorize certain transactions related to Cuban-origin pharmaceuticals and joint medical research; add, expand, and clarify authorizations relating to trade and commerce; authorize certain civil aviation safety-related services; further facilitate authorized travel to Cuba; and expand the authorizations for grants and humanitarian-related services designed to directly benefit the Cuban people. The amendment was published at 81 FR 71372 in today’s Federal Register, and was effective on publication. OFAC also published new and updated FAQs, a Fact Sheet, and updated Travel Guidance.

In a coordinated action, the Department of Commerce published a final rule at 81 FR 71365 amending a license exception to allow cargo aboard aircraft to transit Cuba when that cargo is bound for destinations other than Cuba. This rule also authorizes export and reexport of certain items sold directly to individuals in Cuba under a license exception. Finally, this rule revises the lists of ineligible Cuban officials for purposes of certain license exceptions. Commerce's rule is also effective today.


Treasury and Fed support G-7 cybersecurity report

Treasury and the Federal Reserve have announced their support of the publication of the Group of 7 (G-7) Fundamental Elements of Cybersecurity for the Financial Sector. The finance ministers and central bank governors of the G-7 countries have released the report, which provides a concise set of principles on best practices in cybersecurity for public and private entities in the financial sector.


HUD sends disaster assistance to Matthew victims

HUD has announced it will speed federal disaster assistance to the States of North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes due to Hurricane Matthew.


OFAC adds Transnational Criminals to SDN Lists

The Office of Foreign Assets Control has designated four individuals and nine entities with the Altaf Khanani Money Laundering Organization (Khanani MLO) under the Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO) sanctions program. See our OFAC Update for additional information.


FATF G20 report on beneficial ownership

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has announced the publication of its report to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, which sets out its on-going work to improve the implementation of international standards on transparency, including those on the availability and exchange of beneficial ownership information, to prevent the misuse of companies, trusts, and other corporate vehicles.


OCC to host Arkansas workshops for directors

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has announced it will host two workshops in Little Rock, Arkansas, at the Wyndham Riverfront Little Rock, November 15-16, for directors of national community banks and federal savings associations supervised by the OCC.


Burma sanctions terminated

President Obama has issued an Executive Order terminating the Burma-related sanctions program, and Burma-related financial sanctions administered by OFAC are no longer in effect. The Executive Order terminates all OFAC-administered restrictions and authorizations under the Burma sanctions program pertaining to banking with Burma. This includes the OFAC general licenses issued in 2012 and 2013 that authorized certain correspondent account activity with Burmese banks. FinCEN also issued an exception to the prohibition imposed by the USA PATRIOT Act which allows financial institutions to maintain correspondent accounts for Burmese banks under certain conditions. See BankersOnline's OFAC Update for additional information.


FFIEC cybersecurity webinars announced

The FFIEC has announced it will host two webinars for financial institutions in October in recognition of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
  • Mobile Financial Services — Appendix E of the Retail Payment System Booklet, October 13, 2016, at 3 p.m. Eastern. The FFIEC members updated the Information Technology examination handbook on April 29 to address financial institutions’ use of new and emerging technologies, specifically the rapid proliferation and technological advancements in the use and capabilities of mobile devices with respect to financial services. This webinar will provide an overview of the contents of the Appendix E of the Retail Payments Systems booklet and an opportunity to receive answers to questions regarding mobile financial services.
  • Getting the Most Out of Your FS-ISAC Membership, October 31, 2016, at 1 p.m. Eastern. On November 3, 2014, the FFIEC members issued a statement on Cybersecurity Threat and Vulnerability Monitoring and Sharing that encouraged financial institutions to join the Financial Services-Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC). Many financial institutions have expressed a desire to gain a better understanding on how to filter and utilize the information they receive through this membership service. This webinar will feature a guest speaker from the FS-ISAC who will provide tips on how to manage the information flow and filter information through the membership portal.


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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

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