Press Release
For Immediate Release December 1, 2021

 

Federal and State Regulators Release Updates to the BSA/AML Examination Manual  


The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) today released one new section and updates to three sections of the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) Examination Manual. Today’s updates affect the following sections:

  • Introduction - Customers (new)
  • Charities and Nonprofit Organizations
  • Independent Automated Teller Machine Owners or Operators
  • Politically Exposed Persons

The updates should not be interpreted as new requirements or as a new or increased focus on certain areas. Rather, these sections provide information and considerations related to certain customers that may indicate the need for bank policies, procedures, and processes to address potential money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit financial activity risks. These sections provide further transparency into the BSA/AML examination process.


The sections also remind examiners that no specific customer type automatically presents a higher risk of money laundering, terrorist financing, or other illicit financial activity. Further, banks that operate in compliance with applicable BSA/AML requirements and reasonably manage and mitigate risks related to the unique characteristics of customer relationships are neither prohibited nor discouraged from providing accounts or services to any specific class or type of customer.


The manual provides instructions to examiners for assessing the adequacy of a bank’s or credit union’s BSA/AML compliance program and its compliance with BSA regulatory requirements. The manual itself does not establish requirements for banks; such requirements are found in statutes and regulations. FFIEC agencies worked closely with Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network on today’s updates.


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The FFIEC was established in March 1979 to prescribe uniform principles, standards, and report forms and to promote uniformity in the supervision of financial institutions. It also conducts schools for examiners employed by the five federal member agencies represented on the FFIEC and makes those schools available to employees of state agencies that supervise financial institutions. The Council consists of the following six voting members: a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; the Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; the Comptroller of the Currency; the Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration; and the Chairman of the State Liaison Committee.


Media Contacts:

Federal Reserve Eric Kollig (202) 452-2955
CFPB Michael Robinson (202) 435-7170
FDIC LaJuan Williams-Young (202) 898-3876
NCUA Joseph Adamoli (703) 518-6330
OCC Stephanie Collins (202) 649-6870
SLC Catherine Pickels (202) 728-5734