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ANALYSIS: M.Y. Safra Bank Case Highlights Crypto AML Compliance

March 3, 2020, 7:56 AM

The attitude of the federal banking regulators toward the impact of cryptocurrencies on banks’ anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) compliance received relatively little attention before 2020. A formal enforcement action concluded in January should change that situation.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and M.Y. Safra Bank signed a Jan. 30 consent order in which the OCC found that the bank had Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) compliance failures related to accounts for “cryptocurrency-related money services businesses” (MSBs). This OCC action confirms the concerns of banks regarding potential liability for AML/CFT compliance as a result of...

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