March 7, 2022

FinCEN issues notice to renew BSA regulation without changing reporting obligation on foreign banks

The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recently published a notice on February 16, 2022 that seeks to renew an existing Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulation that enables the US to collect information from certain foreign banks that hold correspondent accounts in US banks.  FinCEN is seeking to renew the regulation without changing any of the reporting obligations on foreign banks.

The BSA regulation at issue was issued following Congress’ expansion of economic sanctions against Iran when it amended the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 by establishing the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA).  In accordance with section 104(e) of the CISADA, FinCEN issued a BSA regulation (found at 31 CFR 1060.300), that, upon the receipt of a CISADA request, requires a US bank that maintains a correspondent account for a specified foreign bank, to request the foreign bank to report to FinCEN: (i) any correspondent account that the foreign bank maintains for any Iranian-linked financial institution designated under International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA); (ii) any transfer of funds made by the foreign bank for or on behalf of an Iranian-linked Financial Institution that was processed within the preceding 90 days, other an through a correspondent account; and (iii) any transfer of funds by the foreign bank made for or on behalf of any Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-linked person designated under IEEPA that was processed within the preceding 90 days.  The regulation also requires US Banks to request that the foreign bank certify that none of these conditions have been met and agrees to notify the US bank if, within the next 365 days, it establishes a new correspondent account for an Iranian-linked Financial Institution.

FinCEN invites the public provide written comments on the renewal notice.  All comments must be received on or before April 18, 2022.

FinCEN Press Release