Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)
Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
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.
BSA and Related Regulations
The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), 31 USC 5311 et seq establishes program, recordkeeping and reporting requirements for national banks, 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.
The OCC conducts regular examinations of national banks and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks in the U.S. to determine compliance with the BSA.
OCC AML Bulletins and FinCEN Advisories
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.
U.S. national 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.
BSA and OFAC Enforcement Policies and Actions
The OCC uses informal and formal enforcement actions to ensure national banks' compliance with BSA. Under a memorandum of understanding between the U.S. banking agencies and the U.S. Department of Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the OCC will promptly notify FinCEN of significant BSA violations or deficiencies.
Law Enforcement Resources
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.
Links to Other Federal Banking Agencies