Money Laundering, Terrorism and Financial Institutions - USA Patriot Act Monitor

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11/16/2004 USA PATRIOT Act Monitor News Release: OCC Issues Enforcement Guidance on Cease-and-Desist Orders for BSA Violations

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has issued Enforcement Guidance for BSA/AML Program Deficiencies. The OCC's mandate to issue a cease-and-desist order applies when a bank fails to correct any problem previously noted in a report on examination or other supervisory correspondence. A C&D can even apply to a "one-time, technical violation that demonstrates willful or reckless disregard for the requirements of the BSA or that creates a substantial risk of money laundering or the financing of terrorism." The Guidance notes that a bank should not be cited for a violation when it fails to file a suspicious activity report in an isolated circumstance "unless the failure is significant or accompanied by evidence of bad fail, provided that the bank otherwise has adequate systems and controls in place." The Guidance will be discussed in a forthcoming issue of the Monitor.

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