Joint Statement on BSA Resource Sharing: Federal Depository Institution Regulators and FinCEN Issue Joint Statement to Highlight Potential Benefits and Risks of Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”)-Related Collaborations

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - October 4, 2018
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On October 3, 2018, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network published a statement describing the benefits as well as the risks and related mitigants associated with Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”)-related collaborative arrangements among depository institutions (the “Statement”). The Statement does not apply to arrangements or associations formed for sharing information pursuant to Section 314(b) of the USA PATRIOT Act, and it also indicates that the collaborative arrangements it describes are generally more suitable for community banks with lower risk profiles. The benefits of such arrangements can include reduced costs, increased operational efficiencies and the leveraging of specialized expertise, for example in internal control functions, independent testing and training. The Statement does not endorse the sharing of a BSA compliance officer, but notes that such sharing may be more appropriate in the case of affiliated banks. The Statement also discusses several risk considerations associated with such collaboration, including the need to ensure that such arrangements are adequately documented, consistent with appropriate corporate governance principles and compliant with applicable legal restrictions around the sharing of information. Finally, the Statement encourages institutions to consult with their primary federal regulator regarding the sharing of BSA resources.