November 13, 2019

Compliance Blog highlights BSA penalty increases

compliance blogNAFCU Regulatory Paralegal Shari Pogach details the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's (FinCEN) recent final rule to reflect the annual inflation adjustment to its civil monetary penalty amounts for Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) violations in a new post on the NAFCU Compliance Blog.

"While this is an annual adjustment, it should still be a reminder that the federal regulator examiners are taking now a deeper look at BSA compliance," writes Pogach. "And, as many banks and credit unions have learned the hard way, noncompliance can be costly."

Pogach explains that negligent BSA violations by financial institutions can result in a maximum penalty of $1,146 and willful BSA violation penalties range from $57,317 to $229,269. She also points out that there are criminal penalties for willful BSA violations.

"Individual financial institution employees, including credit union employees, found willfully violating the BSA are subject to a criminal fine of up to $250,000 or five years in prison, or both," she notes. 

Simultaneous violations of the BSA and other U.S. laws, and BSA violations accompanied by participation in other criminal activity, may result in a fine of up to $500,000 or 10 years in prison, or both.

For more on the penalties associated with BSA violations, read Pogach's blog post. Those interested can sign up to receive new NAFCU Compliance Blog posts in their inbox every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 

NAFCU member credit unions have direct access to the association's Compliance Team for assistance with federal compliance issues via email or the compliance helpline. Additionally, the compliance calendar is a great tool for help with important upcoming dates and deadlines.

NAFCU's new Compliance, Risk & BSA Network is also a great member-only resource where compliance professionals share insights and information on various issues.