Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
National Credit Union Administration
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
State Bank and Credit Union Regulators
June 30, 2021
The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (the “AML Act”)1 requires the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General, Federal functional regulators,2 relevant State financial regulators, and relevant national security agencies, to establish and make public priorities for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism policy (AML/CFT Priorities).3 Accordingly, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) published these (opens new window) first national AML/CFT Priorities today in consultation with the parties as set out in the AML Act. As a result of this publication, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (collectively, the “federal banking agencies” or “FBAs”), State bank and credit union regulators,4 and FinCEN are issuing this statement to provide clarity for banks5 on these AML/CFT Priorities.
Today’s publication of the AML/CFT Priorities does not create an immediate change to Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requirements or supervisory expectations for banks. The AML Act requires that, within 180 days of the establishment of the AML/CFT Priorities, FinCEN (in consultation with Federal functional regulators and relevant State financial regulators) shall, as appropriate, promulgate regulations regarding the AML/CFT Priorities.6 Although not required by the AML Act, the FBAs plan to revise their BSA regulations, as necessary, to address how the AML/CFT Priorities will be incorporated into banks’ BSA requirements.
Banks are not required to incorporate the AML/CFT Priorities into their risk-based BSA compliance programs until the effective date of the final revised regulations. Nevertheless, in preparation for any new requirements when those final rules are published, banks may wish to start considering how they will incorporate the AML/CFT Priorities into their risk-based BSA compliance programs, such as by assessing the potential related risks associated with the products and services they offer, the customers they serve, and the geographic areas in which they operate.
Finally, the AML Act requires that the review by a bank of the AML/CFT Priorities and the incorporation of those priorities, as appropriate, into its risk-based BSA compliance program, be included as a measure on which a bank is supervised and examined.7 This interagency statement confirms that State bank and credit union regulator and FBA examiners will not examine banks for the incorporation of the AML/CFT Priorities into their risk-based BSA programs until the effective date of final revised regulations.
The FBAs, State bank and credit union regulators, and FinCEN recognize the need to provide revised regulations and timely guidance to assist banks in complying with the BSA. In addition, the FBAs and State bank and credit union regulators are committed to working with FinCEN to develop any necessary corresponding guidance and examination procedures for examiners.
1 The AML Act was enacted as Division F, §§ 6001-6511, of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, H.R. 6395, 116th Cong. (2021) (enacted) (enrolled bill available at (opens new window)).
2 31 U.S.C. § 5318(h)(4)(A) (as amended by AML Act § 6101(b)(2)(C)) uses the term Federal functional regulator “as defined in section 509 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (15 U.S.C. 6809)).”
3 31 U.S.C. § 5318(h)(4)(A) (as amended by AML Act § 6101(b)(2)(C)).
4 As represented by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council State Liaison Committee.
5 The term “bank” used here is as defined in Bank Secrecy Act regulations at 31 C.F.R. § 1010.100(d) and includes each agent, agency, branch, or office within the United States of banks, credit unions, savings associations, and foreign banks.
6 31 U.S.C. § 5318(h)(4)(D) (as amended by AML Act § 6101(b)(2)(C)).
7 31 U.S.C. § 5318(h)(4)(E) (as amended by AML Act § 6101(b)(2)(C)).