DOB: Alerts Re: Control of Foreign Assets, Terrorism Sanctions


Control of Foreign Assets - Terrorism Sanctions


 

FDIC Financial Institution Letters (FIL)

USA Patriot Act

U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT)


 

FDIC FIL 24-2002

Subject: USA PATRIOT Act - Section 314, Information Sharing

On March 4, 2002, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an interim rule to implement Section 314(b) of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act). Section 314(b) of the USA PATRIOT Act permits financial institutions, upon providing notice to Treasury, to share information with one another in order to better identify and report to the federal government concerning activities that may involve money laundering or terrorist activities. Financial institutions may share the information after providing notice to the Department of the Treasury by filing the "Certification for Purposes of Section 314(b) of the USA PATRIOT Act and 31 CFR 103.110" (certification form). The rule is effective March 4, 2002.

Financial institutions are encouraged to file the certification form electronically by accessing FinCEN's Web site http://www.treas.gov/fincen/fi_infoappb.html. The rule provides that if a financial institution does not have Internet access, it may file a paper form, which can be found in the March 4, 2002, Federal Register, Volume 67, No. 42, page 9878. The completed form should be mailed to FinCEN, P.O. Box 39, Mail Stop 100, Vienna, VA 22183. Regardless of the method a financial institution uses to submit the certification form, FinCEN will provide an acknowledgement of receipt. Attached for your information is a copy of the Federal Register notice containing the interim rule and certification form. The right to share information shall be effective for the one-year period beginning on the date of the certification, which is the execution date appearing on the certification form. To continue the sharing of information after the end of the one-year period, a financial institution or association of financial institutions must submit a new certification form.

On March 4, 2002, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) also issued a proposed rule that would add new sections to the Bank Secrecy Act regulations. The proposed Section 103.90 defines money laundering and terrorist activity. The proposed Section 103.100 concerns information sharing with federal law enforcement agencies, and the proposed Section 103.110 concerns voluntary information sharing among financial institutions. A copy of the Federal Register notice announcing the proposed rule is attached. Comments must be received on or before April 3, 2002. Written comments should be submitted to: Special Information Sharing-Section 314 Comments, P. O. Box 1618, Vienna, Virginia 22183-1618. Comments also may be submitted by electronic mail to the following Internet address: regcomments@fincen.treas.gov with the caption in the body of the text "Attention: Proposed Rule-Special Information Sharing-Section 314."

When appropriate, the FDIC will amend its examination procedures to address the new requirements. For further information, you may contact the FDIC's Special Activities Section at 202-898-6750. Questions also may be submitted electronically to alert@fdic.gov.

For your reference, all FDIC Financial Institution Letters published since 1995 may be found on the FDIC's Web site at www.fdic.gov under "Newsroom, Events & FOIA." To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Financial Institution Letters through e-mail, please visit http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/announcements/index.html.

Attachments:

Federal Register 9873 - 9878: HTML or PDF (228kb File)
Federal Register 9879 - 9887: HTML or PDF (140kb File)

March 14, 2002


FDIC SPECIAL ALERT

SUBJECT: Guidance on Requests for Information Related to Terrorist Activity

Since the September 11, 2001, tragedy, financial institutions have received several "Special Alerts" regarding terrorist activity. Banking organizations were provided with names on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's suspected terrorist list as well as new names added to the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list. In some instances, names of individuals and organizations may appear on both lists. In addition, financial institutions were asked to voluntarily report suspicious transactions that may relate to recent terrorist activity against the United States. Due to the number of similar requests that financial institutions are receiving, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is issuing this guidance to clarify instructions about each request.

First, as a longstanding practice, the FDIC has regularly distributed lists published by OFAC to FDIC-supervised institutions. OFAC administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions under Presidential wartime and national emergency powers, as well as authority granted by specific legislation, to impose controls on transactions and freeze foreign assets under U.S. jurisdiction. OFAC is responsible for issuing regulations that restrict transactions by U.S. persons or entities (including banks) with certain foreign countries, their nationals, "specially designated nationals," or designated foreign terrorist organizations. Violations of these laws can expose financial institutions to substantial penalties.

All FDIC-supervised institutions should check records for property that is required to be blocked. Examples of property include direct or indirect interest in deposit accounts, loans, trust accounts, letters of credit, trade acceptances, negotiable instruments, checks, contracts or any tangible or intangible thing of value. A Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) is not required for matches to the OFAC list; however, banks are instructed to contact OFAC's hotline at 1-800-540-6322 for reporting requirements or questions about OFAC regulations. Banks should be aware of the likelihood that the OFAC list will frequently change as the investigation of terrorist activities continues. Banks should periodically visit the OFAC Web site for up-to-date information at http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/.

Second, the FDIC has encouraged financial institutions to cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation of terrorist activity in the United States. Banks are encouraged to cooperate in two ways - by searching records for names of persons who may be related to terrorist activity, and by using the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's (FinCEN) Financial Institutions Hotline at 1-866-556-3974. In Financial Institution Letter 87-2001, dated September 28, 2001, banking organizations were asked to voluntarily report suspicious transactions related to terrorist activity to law enforcement using this hotline. The hotline operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The hotline's purpose is to provide to law enforcement the nature of the suspicious activity expeditiously.

Through the FDIC Advisory System, the FDIC will periodically circulate confidential lists of entities and individuals who are relevant to the investigation of terrorist activity. The list, known as the "Control List," is provided by law enforcement. Financial institutions are requested to check their records for any relationships or transactions with named entities or individuals. An e-mail message indicating only a positive response should be sent to suspicious.accounts@ny.frb.org. Law enforcement authorities will subpoena your bank for relevant information needed to assist them in their investigation. The funds belonging to persons named on the Control List should NOT be blocked UNLESS the entity or individual is also on the OFAC Specially Designated Nationals List. Banks should be aware that the Control List may frequently change as the investigation of terrorist activities continues. Questions or comments about the Control List may be directed to FDICADVISORY@fdic.gov.

Notwithstanding the use of the Financial Institutions Hotline and/or the suspcious.accounts@ny.frb.org e-mail, banks are required to file a Suspicious Activity Report with the Internal Revenue Service's Detroit Computing Center as soon as possible in accordance with 12 CFR Part 353. The SAR form, along with the instructions, may be found at http://www.ustreas.gov/fincen/forms.html.

Questions about suspicious activity reporting requirements should be directed to the FDIC's Special Activities Section at (202) 898-6750. Questions or comments about FDIC Special Alerts may be directed to alert@fdic.gov.

For your reference, all FDIC Financial Institution Letters published since 1995 may be found on the FDIC's Web site at www.fdic.gov under "Newsroom, Events & FOIA." To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Financial Institution Letters through e-mail, please visit http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/announcements/index.html.

December 4, 2001


FDIC SPECIAL ALERT

SUBJECT: Financial Institutions Hotline Relating To Terrorist Activity

The Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has established a FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS HOTLINE, 1-866-556-3974, for financial institutions to voluntarily report to law enforcement suspicious transactions that may relate to recent terrorist activity against the United States. The purpose of the Hotline is to facilitate the immediate transmittal of this information to law enforcement. It will be operational seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Information pertaining to the Office of Foreign Assets Control's (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals List, or questions concerning the financial institution's compliance with OFAC regulations, should be directed to OFAC's Compliance Programs Branch at 1-800-540-6322.

FDIC-supervised financial institutions identifying suspicious transactions are required to report such transactions by filing a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) in accordance with 12 CFR Part 353, even if they provide information over the Financial Institutions Hotline. Institutions should file the SAR with the IRS Detroit Computing Center as soon as possible. The Hotline is intended to provide to law enforcement and other authorized recipients of SAR information the essence of the suspicious activity in an expedited fashion. The Hotline use is voluntary and does not negate an institution's responsibility to file a SAR in accordance with applicable regulations. For your information, the SAR form, along with the instructions, may be found at http://www.treas.gov/fincen/bsaf_main.html#902247.

Financial institutions identifying such suspicious financial activity on a SAR can assist law enforcement by:

  • capturing the information on the SAR accurately and completely;
  • explaining the suspicious transaction as completely as possible in the narrative section; and
  • including the following information if applicable - any correspondent bank name/account information; names/locations of business entities; names of cities, countries and foreign financial institutions linked to the transaction, especially if wire transfer activity is involved; and account numbers and beneficiary names.

In addition, institutions preparing SARs are asked to check the "Other" box on Part III, Line 35(s), of the SAR form and to type in "terrorism" immediately following the box.

Nothing in this announcement precludes a financial institution from directly contacting law enforcement or the institution's federal regulator concerning these issues.

Questions or comments concerning FDIC SPECIAL ALERTS, as well as information relating to information contained in the "Alerts," may be directed to alert@fdic.gov.

For your reference, all FDIC Financial Institution Letters published since January of 1995 may be found on the FDIC's Web site at www.fdic.gov under "Newsroom, Events & FOIA." To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Financial Institution Letters through e-mail, please visit http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/announcements/index.html.

September 28, 2001


Memorandum From John P. Burke, Banking Commissioner

TO: Bank Chief Executive Officers or Branch Managers

SUBJECT: Control of Foreign Assets

The President of the United States has issued an Executive Order targeting terrorists and the assets they might maintain in this country. A list of foreign persons or groups determined to have committed terrorism, or to pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism, has been made public. The assets of these targeted individuals and groups are to be blocked and information regarding these assets given to the U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Compliance Section, 1-800-540-6322.

Attached are a description OFAC and a copy of The President's Executive Order with an Annex that lists the targeted names. Please review them and determine what steps you need to take in the event you are confronted with having custody of assets for the above-named individuals and groups, have relationships with them, or conduct transactions for persons who act on behalf of those named on the list.

As the state regulator of many financially-related entities located or doing business in Connecticut, I wanted you to know of the President's edict and of how important it is that we all cooperate with federal authorities in light of what has transpired over the past month.

Any suspicions should be directed to OFAC at 1-(800)-540-6322 and to our Bank Examination Division at (860) 240-8185.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Attachments: OFAC Description | Executive Order | October 12, 2001 OFAC Bulletin

September 26, 2001

Note: A similar memorandum was sent to Connecticut credit unions on October 17, 2001.