January 21, 2021

OCC issues FAQs on anti-money laundering topics

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, together with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, has issued a series of frequently asked questions and responses clarifying the regulatory requirements for some aspects of Bank Secrecy Act compliance. 

The seven FAQs mainly address the suspicious activity reporting requirements of covered financial institutions.  They clarify, but do not change, legal or regulatory requirements.  The questions include whether financial institutions may maintain accounts for customers whose activities have been identified as suspicious and for whom law enforcement has transmitted a “keep open” request (yes); whether a financial institution must terminate a customer relationship once the institution has filed a SAR concerning the customer (no); whether financial institutions should file SARs solely because they have received inquiries or grand jury subpoenas from law enforcement (no); whether a financial institution must conduct an independent investigation of multiple negative media reports about a customer (no); whether an institution must file a SAR based exclusively on negative media reports about its customer (no); and; whether financial institutions must repeat information in the narrative portion of SARs if the information is contained in other data fields in the report (no).

OCC press release | OCC FAQs