FinCEN recently assessed a $390 Million civil money penalty against a national bank for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). FinCEN determined that the bank violated the BSA and its implementing regulations by (i) willfully failing to establish and maintain an effective AML program; (ii) willfully failing to accurately and timely file SARs; and (iii) negligently failing to timely file currency transaction reports (CTRs).
Although the bank had AML policies and procedures in place, FinCEN found that they were inadequate to address the bank’s money laundering risk and were inconsistently and ineffectively implemented. FinCEN partially attributed the bank’s SAR and CTR filing deficiencies to its AML program failures, as those failures often meant the bank did not have adequate knowledge of suspicious transactions; however, FinCEN also determined that the bank occasionally failed to investigate or report suspicious activity of which it did have knowledge.
In determining the final amount of the civil money penalty, FinCEN considered the bank’s remedial actions and cooperation with FinCEN’s investigation. FinCEN will credit toward the CMP a $100 Million payment the bank made to the OCC in 2018 pursuant to a separate consent order.