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The OCC prescribes regulations, conducts supervisory activities and, when necessary, takes enforcement actions to ensure that national banks have the necessary controls in place and provide the requisite notices to law enforcement to deter and detect money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal acts and the misuse of our nation's financial institutions.
The OCC conducts regular examinations of national banks, federal savings associations, federal branches, and agencies of foreign banks in the U.S. to determine compliance with the BSA.
The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), 31 USC 5311 et seq establishes program, recordkeeping and reporting requirements for national banks, federal savings associations, federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. The OCC's implementing regulations are found at 12 CFR 21.11 and 12 CFR 21.21. The BSA was amended to incorporate the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act which requires every bank to adopt a customer identification program as part of its BSA compliance program.
In addition to utilizing information filed by banks in money laundering and terrorist financing investigations, U.S. law enforcement also provides banks with access to resources and tools such as those listed here that can be used to strengthen your BSA/AML risk management programs.
The OCC and the U.S. Department of Treasury periodically issue alerts, advisories and rulemakings concerning institutions or individuals who may be engaged in fraudulent activities or be deemed to be of high-risk for money laundering or terrorist financing activities.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and the National Credit Union Administration issued a statement encouraging banks to take innovative approaches to meet their Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) compliance obligations and further strengthen the financial system against illicit financial activity.
U.S. banks play a key role in combating the financing of terrorism by identifying and reporting potentially suspicious activity as required under the BSA. A number of resources are available to assist you in this effort.
Criminals have long used money-laundering schemes to conceal or "clean" the source of fraudulently obtained or stolen funds. Money laundering poses significant risks to the safety and soundness of the U.S. financial industry. With the advent of terrorists who employ money-laundering techniques to fund their operations, the risk expands to encompass the safety and security of the nation. Through sound operations, banks play an important role in helping investigative and regulatory agencies identify money-laundering entities and take appropriate action.
Under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and related anti-money laundering laws, banks must
As of April 1, 2013, financial institutions must use the Bank Secrecy Act BSA E-Filing System in order to submit Suspicious Activity Reports.
A financial institution is required to file a suspicious activity report no later than 30 calendar days after the date of initial detection of facts that may constitute a basis for filing a suspicious activity report. If no suspect was identified on the date of detection of the incident requiring the filing, a financial institution may delay filing a suspicious activity report for an additional 30 calendar days to identify a suspect. In no case shall reporting be delayed more than 60 calendar days after the date of initial detection of a reportable transaction.
Under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), financial institutions are required to assist U.S. government agencies in detecting and preventing money laundering, such as:
An amendment to the BSA incorporates provisions of the USA Patriot Act, which requires every bank to adopt a customer identification program as part of its BSA compliance program.
OCC Frequently Asked Questions for Banks Regarding COVID-19
Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering: Customer Due Diligence and Beneficial Ownership Requirements for Legal Entity Customers Overviews and Examination Procedures
Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering: Revised FFIEC BSA/AML Examination Manual
Treasury publishes National Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risk Assessments
Learn about other organizations and federal government agency efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing