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12/13/2019

Ortega son sanctioned for money laundering and corruption

Treasury has announced that OFAC has designated Rafael Antonio Ortega Murillo, son of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, and two companies he owns or controls and uses to finance and launder money for the Ortega regime. OFAC also designated Distribuidor Nicaraguense de Petroleo S.A., a company owned or controlled by Rafael Antonio Ortega Murillo as well as by Nicaraguan Vice President and First Lady Rosario Maria Murillo De Ortega, and two other companies owned or controlled by Rafael Ortega.

For identification information on Rafael Ortega and the three companies designated, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

12/12/2019

OFAC designates weapons network and Mahan Air agents

Treasury has announced that OFAC has designated an Iranian shipping network involved in smuggling lethal aid from Iran to Yemen on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). OFAC also designated three Mahan Air general sales agents—Gatewick LLC, Jahan Destination Travel and Tourism LLC, and Gomei Air Services Co., Ltd—based in the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong. Mahan Air was designated in 2011 for providing financial, material, or technological support for or to the IRGC-QF. See BankersOnline's OFAC Update for identification details.

12/11/2019

Blanco addresses enforcement conference

Kenneth A. Blanco, Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), spoke at the American Bankers Association/American Bar Association (ABA/ABA) Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference on December 10, 2019. He addressed how FinCEN uses BSA data, particularly as it relates to filings involving convertible virtual currency; the status of FinCEN’s BSA Value Project; the importance of beneficial ownership information; FinCEN’s ongoing federal banking agency working group efforts; and some significant organizational changes within FinCEN.

In his discussion of beneficial ownership information, Blanco said that there is more work to be done in that arena, and that collecting beneficial ownership information at the corporate formation stage is the next criitical step. He said that FinCEN is committed to working with key stakeholders, including Congress, to find effective, sensible solutions to address this serious and growing gap in our national security.

12/11/2019

FDIC updates Compliance Examination Manual

The FDIC has updated its Consumer Compliance Examination Manual to add new section X-6.1 on Disclosure Requirements for Sweep Accounts, to include examination procedures for FDIC Part 360.8(e), which requires consumer disclosures for sweep account transactions to inform whether the swept funds are deposits.

12/11/2019

OFAC targets indviduals for human rights abuses

Yesterday, on International Human Rights Day, OFAC took action against 18 individuals located in Burma, Pakistan, Libya, Slovakia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan for their roles in serious human rights abuse. Additionally, six entities were designated for being owned or controlled by one of the designated individuals. OFAC designated these individuals and entities under E.O. 13818 and the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which target perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption.

As a result of yesterday’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated individuals, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other designated persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.

The names and identifying information for the individuals and entities targeted in OFAC's action can be found in this BankersOnline OFAC Update.

12/11/2019

OFAC adds two new Venezuela-related FAQs

OFAC has published two new Venezuela-related FAQs asking about filing lawsuits against a person designated or blocked under the Venezuela sanctions program and selling shares of a Government of Venezuela entity held under a writ of attachment.

12/10/2019

CFPB consumer tips on store credit cards

The Bureau has posted tips for consumers who are offered or receive a retail store credit card to protect themselves against fraud.

12/10/2019

Schemers who targeted new businesses fined

The Federal Trade Commission has announced the operators of a scheme that targeted new businesses across the country with bogus threats of government fines will pay $1.2 million and be banned from sending unsolicited direct mail under a settlement with the Commission and the State of Florida. The defendants’ mailers directed businesses to pay $84 for labor law posters and threatened that, “Failure to comply with posting regulations can lead to fines of up to $17,000.” Such posters are available for free from government agencies. The settlement imposes judgments totaling more than $8 million, which are suspended due to the defendants’ inability to pay. They will instead pay $1.2 million that will be returned to businesses that lost money to the scheme.

12/10/2019

OCC on key risks for federal banking system

The OCC's National Risk Committee has issued its Semiannual Risk Perspective for Fall 2019, which indicates operational, credit, and interest rate risks are among the key themes for the federal banking system. Report highlights include:

  • Operational risk is elevated as banks adapt to a changing and increasingly complex operating environment. Key drivers elevating operational risk include the need to adapt and evolve current technology systems for ongoing cybersecurity threats.
  • Credit risk has accumulated in many portfolios. Banks should prepare for a cyclical change while credit performance remains strong. Preparation includes maintaining robust credit control functions, particularly credit review, problem loan identification and workout, collections, and collateral management.
  • Recent volatility in market rates has led to increasing levels of interest rate risk. The complexity of asset/liability management is exacerbated by the recent yield curve inversions.
  • The London InterBank Offered Rate (Libor) will likely cease to be an active index by the end of 2021. Accordingly, the OCC is increasing regulatory oversight of this area to evaluate bank awareness and preparedness.
  • Banks face strategic risks from non-depository financial institutions, use of innovative and evolving technology, and progressive data analysis capabilities.

12/10/2019

Insurers settle with OFAC over CACR violations

OFAC has announced two separate agreements with insurers to settle their respective potential civil liability for apparent violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations. In each case, OFAC determined that the insurer made a voluntary self-disclosure of the apparent violations, and that the apparent violations constituted a non-egregious case.

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