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OCC Bulletin 2010-11 | March 5, 2010

Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering: Beneficial Ownership Guidance


Chief Executive Officers and Compliance Officers of All National Banks, Department and Division Heads, All Examining Personnel, and Other Interested Parties

The guidance attached to this bulletin continues to apply to federal savings associations.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the United States federal banking supervisors, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, in consultation with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, have issued interagency guidance entitled “Guidance on Obtaining and Retaining Beneficial Ownership Information.”  The interagency guidance clarifies and consolidates existing regulatory expectations for financial institutions obtaining beneficial ownership information for certain accounts and customer relationships.

The guidance reminds financial institutions that a fundamental component of effective Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering compliance programs is the requirement that financial institutions know their customers, including beneficial owners of certain accounts.  While the guidance does not alter or supersede previously issued regulations, rulings, or guidance related to Customer Identification Programs (CIP), it does clarify that customer identification extends to financial institutions knowing beneficial owners of an account, based on the institution’s evaluation of risk relating to that account. However, the guidance creates no new obligations for national banks beyond what is required by applicable law and regulation.    

For further information, please contact your examiner-in-charge, OCC supervisory office, or the OCC Compliance Policy Department at (202) 649-5740.


Ann F. Jaedicke
Deputy Comptroller for Compliance Policy

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