Hemp Banking – FinCEN Issues New Guidance Regarding AML/BSA ObligationsThis article was written in collaboration with Jake Fanella and Jessica Caballero at VeriLeaf.  VeriLeaf is a modern RegTech platform that optimizes the onboarding, review and ongoing compliance required for high-risk banking markets. VeriLeaf leverages state-specific requirements and the financial institution’s compliance program to streamline qualification, risk assessment, and onboarding of high-risk businesses in markets

National Credit Union Administration Encourages Banking Hemp Businesses — With Some CaveatsIn December 2018, Congress gave the hemp industry a significant boost by passing the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the cultivation and sale of hemp (i.e., cannabis with a THC content of less than .3%).  The 2018 Farm Bill tasked the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) with formulating the regulations to govern this burgeoning

Gambling on a DOJ Enforcement Action: State of the Wire ActBanks and payment processors involved with acceptance or processing of funds relating to gambling or state lottery systems can breathe a sigh of relief—at least for now—based upon a New Hampshire district court judge’s recent interpretation of the Wire Act, which rejected a much broader Department of Justice (DOJ) position that initially sent shockwaves throughout

A Cannabis Banking Bill, Sitting on Capitol HillLegislation that would pave the way for financial institutions to transact with cannabis-related businesses operating in states that have legalized marijuana (herein “cannabis-related legitimate businesses”) is quickly working its way through the House of Representatives.

The SAFE Banking Act of 2019 was introduced in the House by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) on March 7, 2019.

To Catch a Terrorist – Innovation, AI, and Public/Private Partnerships in the World of BSA/AMLOn the heels of FinCen and Federal Banking Agencies releasing a joint statement “Encouraging Innovative Industry Approaches to AML Compliance,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker announced a new collaborative era during the American Bankers Association’s Financial Crimes Conference, and emphasized the need for private/governmental working relationships and partnerships in order to

O Canada! What Canada’s Nationwide Legalization of Cannabis Means for American Financial InstitutionsToday marks a significant shift in cannabis policy, both domestically and internationally, as Canada becomes the first industrialized nation in the world, and only the second nation overall, to legalize cannabis. This follows the passage of The Cannabis Act in June of this year, which legalized cannabis at all levels of government.

With this blessing

Providing Banking Services to the Legal Marijuana Industry: Mitigating Risks to Maximize Potential RewardsSince 1996, when California became the first state to legalize marijuana (at the time, for medicinal purposes only), 28 additional states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana to some extent. Public support for legalization continues to rise as more and more jurisdictions loosen their marijuana laws, with 64 percent of Americans in favor

Western Union to Pay $586 Million in Restitution and Civil Penalties for AML Compliance Failure On January 19, 2017, Western Union Financial Services, Inc. agreed to pay civil penalties and restitution to victims of fraud totaling $586 million to resolve actions brought by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Department of Justice (DOJ), and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act’s (BSA) anti-money

Non-Federally Regulated Banks Are Target of Proposed FinCEN RulesLast month the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) proposed new rules which would require non-federally regulated banks to implement Customer Identification Program (CIP) requirements related to the collection and verification of customer information. Financial institutions have until October 24, 2016, to comment on the proposed rule, which, if adopted, is estimated to

The “Fifth Pillar” of AML/BSA Compliance FinCEN Issues Final Rule for New Customer Due Diligence Requirements under the Bank Secrecy ActFor years, financial institutions have operated under the maxim that an effective anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance program (collectively “AML”) rests upon four pillars: (1) written policies and procedures; (2) a designated AML compliance officer; (3) independent testing of the institution’s AML program; and (4) implementation of an adequate employee training program. Now