Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)/Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance needs and enforcement matters have increased exponentially in recent years, and will only continue to grow in importance as relevant regulators continue to push for stricter rules and broader enforcement authority.
The BSA, together with an array of related regulations implemented by various agencies including the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), requires banks and nonbank financial institutions to undertake various AML obligations. These can include:
In addition to banks, BSA/AML legal obligations have grown to cover all manner of other entities, including securities broker-dealers, commodities futures commission merchants and introducing brokers, casinos, and money services businesses, such as currency dealers, check cashiers and money transmitters.
Violations of BSA/AML obligations can lead to enforcement investigations and proceedings by a host of regulators, including FinCEN, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and others, as well as self-regulatory organizations such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Additionally, willful violations of the BSA and implementing regulations can be, and have been, prosecuted criminally by the Department of Justice. Accordingly, seeking qualified legal counsel — proactively or reactively — can be critical to the ongoing operation of a registered financial institution.
McGuireWoods has a deep bench of practitioners who counsel and represent banks, broker-dealers, money services businesses and other financial institutions in the areas of BSA/AML compliance and enforcement investigations. Our BSA/AML team includes:
McGuireWoods is uniquely situated to counsel entities on the development and maintenance of effective AML compliance programs. Additionally, if necessary, McGuireWoods guides companies through, and defend them in the face of, regulatory and criminal BSA/AML enforcement investigations and proceedings. Our experience ranges from compliance counseling and policy development, to responding to government inquiries, to assisting with responses to regulatory exams and defending enforcement actions.
Given this combination of relevant experience and skill, McGuireWoods’ BSA/AML team stands ready to assist clients before any regulatory issues begin, through sound counseling and guidance ensuring that a company has designed, implemented and maintained effective BSA/AML compliance programs. If enforcement investigations arise, however, McGuireWoods helps clients navigate the process and develop successful strategies to resolve them with minimal disruption to business.
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