On December 1, 2021, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (“FFIEC”) released updates to its Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) Examination Manual (the “Manual”), which provides guidance to examiners for evaluating a financial institution’s BSA/AML compliance program and its compliance with related regulatory requirements. This update is the third of 2021: the FFIEC also released updates to the Manual on February 25, 2021 and June 21, 2021.
This most recent update to the Manual adds a new introductory section, Introduction – Customers. The updated Manual also includes changes to sections pertaining to Charities and Nonprofit Organizations, Independent Automated Teller Machine Owners or Operators, and Politically Exposed Persons (“PEP”). The breadth of this most recent Manual update is consistent with the previous 2021 updates. In February, FFIEC released an introductory section and updates to three sections pertaining to Customer Identification Programs (“CIP”), Currency Transaction Reporting (“CTR”), and Transactions of Exempt Persons. In June, the FFIEC released updates to four sections pertaining to International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments Reporting, Purchase and Sale of Monetary Instruments Recordkeeping, Reports of Foreign Financial, and Special Measures.
Consistent with prior FFIEC Interagency press releases associated with Manual updates, the FFIEC explained that “[t]he updates should not be interpreted as new requirements or as a new or increased focus on certain areas,” but rather “provide information and considerations related to certain customers that may indicate the need for bank policies, procedures, and processes to address potential money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit financial activity risks.” Despite this disclaimer, the updates provide helpful insight into what examiners prioritize with regard to BSA/AML compliance.
Continue Reading The FFIEC’S Third 2021 Update to the BSA/AML Examination Manual