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OCC Bulletin 2020-75 | August 13, 2020

Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering: Joint Statement on Enforcement of BSA/AML Requirements


Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks, Federal Savings Associations, and Federal Branches and Agencies; Department and Division Heads; All Examining Personnel; and Other Interested Parties


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the National Credit Union Administration (collectively, the agencies) today issued this joint statement to clarify how the agencies apply the enforcement provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and related anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations. The joint statement does not create new expectations or standards.

Note for Community Banks

The principles contained in this statement apply to the OCC’s supervision of community banks.1


The joint statement addresses

  • when an agency will issue a mandatory cease-and-desist under Section 8(s) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, which generally requires each federal banking agency to issue an order to cease and desist when a supervised institution fails to establish and maintain a BSA/AML compliance program with the four required components (known as pillars).
  • when an agency may use its discretion to issue formal or informal enforcement actions or use other supervisory actions to address BSA-related violations, such as violations related to suspicious activity reporting and other reporting or record-keeping requirements.
  • how the agencies incorporate customer due diligence regulations and other BSA/AML reporting and record-keeping requirements as part of the internal controls pillar of the bank’s BSA/AML compliance program.
  • how the agencies evaluate individual component violations or BSA-related unsafe or unsound practices that do not rise to the level of a BSA/AML compliance program failure.
  • how the agencies evaluate less serious issues or isolated or technical violations or deficiencies as generally outside of the scope of Section 8(s).

Further Information

Please contact Jim Vivenzio, Acting Director for BSA/AML Compliance Policy, at (202) 649-5470.


Grovetta N. Gardineer
Senior Deputy Comptroller of Bank Supervision Policy

Related Link

1 "Banks" refers collectively to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banking organizations.