OCC Presages Regulators’ Joint Statement on Banks Using Technological Innovation to Comply with BSA/AML Obligations
Second Post in a Two-Part Series
In our first post in this series, we described how the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (the “Banking Committee”) met in open session late last week to conduct a hearing on “Combating Money Laundering and Other Forms of Illicit Finance: Regulator and Law Enforcement Perspectives on Reform.” The Banking Committee heard the testimony of, and questioned, representatives from the FinCEN, the OCC, and the FBI. The partial backdrop of this hearing is that Congress is considering a draft bill, the Counter Terrorism and Illicit Finance Act (“CTIFA”), which proposes the most substantial overhaul to the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) since the PATRIOT Act. As we have noted, three individuals testified at this hearing:
- Kenneth A. Blanco, Director of FinCEN (written remarks here);
- Steven D’Antuono, Section Chief of the FBI’s Financial Crimes Section (written remarks here); and
- Grovetta Gardineer, Senior Deputy Comptroller for Compliance and Community Affairs of the OCC (written remarks here).
In our first post, we discussed some of the tensions which emerged during the hearing between the OCC, which emphasized attempting to ease BSA regulatory burdens, particularly for small- to medium-sized community banks, and FinCEN and the FBI, which stressed the value of BSA filings to law enforcement. Today, we discuss the some of the less contentious – although still critical – issues addressed during the hearing, which covered much of the current AML landscape:
- exploration by financial institutions of technological innovation, including artificial intelligence, in order to comply more efficiently with their BSA/AML obligations;
- identification of the beneficial owners of legal entities; and
- the role of real estate in money laundering schemes.