Third Party Compliance Audits: The New Imperative for Financial Institutions

By Brad Moody,

compliance

“Use of third parties reduces management’s direct control of activities and may introduce new or increase existing risks, specifically operational, compliance, reputation, strategic, and credit risks as well as the interrelationship of these risks. Increased risk most often arises from greater complexity, ineffective risk management by the bank, and inferior performance by the third party.” – Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, October 30, 2013 Bulletin

It’s well established that banks are increasingly turning to third parties to handle a wide range of activities and processes, from cash transport and ATM replenishment to IT and other services. However, when you examine the latest standards and scrutiny placed on financial institutions by the FDIC, CFPB, FFIEC, OCC, FinCEN, and others, it is clear that whether the activities are being performed by the bank itself or a third-party vendor, it’s the bank that carries the bulk of the risk. … Continue reading

5 Key Components of a BSA/AML Compliance Program

By Lowers & Associates,

financial-security

You are most likely familiar with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) which is a bureau of the Treasury Department. FinCEN’s mission is “to safeguard the financial system from illicit use and combat money laundering and promote national security” through the use of financial services information.

Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Anti Money Laundering (AML) regulations previously applied to banks and credit unions, but over the past three decades the law has been expanded to cover a very wide array of financial institutions, maybe even yours. Today, FinCEN maintains webpages for money services businesses (MSB), depository institutions, the insurance industry, securities and futures, casinos, and more. … Continue reading

Underlying Deficiencies in BSA/AML Infractions

By Mark Lowers,

In March 2014, Thomas J. Curry, Comptroller of the Currency, spoke before the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists about the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and Anti-Money Laundering law (AML) compliance. While he generally spoke positively about the efforts of banking institutions to meet the requirements of the BSA, he was also quick to point out that most of the headlines surrounding banks and the BSA are negative.

In other words, the media will seek out banks that are not in compliance. As a result, the industry as a whole must do more.

Curry noted that BSA infractions can, “almost always be traced back to decisions and actions of the institution’s board and senior management.” The underlying deficiencies that lead to these poor decisions fall into four areas:

… Continue reading