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News Release 2017-23 | February 27, 2017

OCC Assesses Penalty Against Merchants Bank of California, N.A.

WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today announced a $1 million civil money penalty against Merchants Bank of California, N.A.

The OCC identified deficiencies in the bank’s compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) that resulted in violations of consent orders the bank entered into on June 23, 2010 (EA 2010-132), and June 26, 2014 (EA 2014-084), as well as a violation of 12 C.F.R. § 21.21, procedures for monitoring BSA compliance. The consent orders required the bank to correct deficiencies in all four pillars of its BSA program (the system of internal controls, independent testing, a designated individual or individuals responsible for coordinating and monitoring BSA/AML compliance, and training for appropriate personnel).

The penalty reflects several factors, including the scope and duration of the bank’s failure to comply with the previous consent orders and the violation of 12 C.F.R. § 21.21 through and including May 25, 2016. The bank has paid the $1 million civil money penalty to the U.S. Treasury.

The OCC is coordinating its action with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which issued a separate order against the bank.

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