We recently wrote an article for Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law outlining the state of play for the financial services sector’s relationship with the U.S. cannabis sector.  Our article summarizes the dilemma arising from the widening gulf between static federal prohibitions and changing state laws.  We consider and reject a number
Continue Reading Practical Law: Financial Services and the US Cannabis Sector

Cannabis banking legislation reached a new milestone last week. Following a markup session, the House Financial Services Committee on March 28 approved an amended SAFE Banking Act in a 45-15 vote. As our visual memorandum discussed in February, the bill offers a safe harbor and other protections for depository institutions
Continue Reading House Financial Services Committee Advances the SAFE Banking Act to the Full House

On March 4, 2019, the U.S. State Department announced that, for the first time, it would permit actions under Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-114 (the “Libertad Act”), which authorizes U.S. nationals that own claims to property
Continue Reading In Unprecedented but Mostly Symbolic Move, State Department Allows Some Claims under Title III of the Libertad Act

Cannabis legislation for banking is now getting more serious attention, as it should. On Wednesday, February 13, the Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Subcommittee of the House Committee on Financial Services will convene a hearing entitled, “Challenges and Solutions:  Access to Banking Services for Cannabis-Related Businesses.” The hearing follows Chairwoman
Continue Reading Proposed U.S. Federal Cannabis Legislation: Briefing on the SAFE Act and STATES Act

On January 28, 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) sanctioned Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (“PdVSA”), Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, pursuant to Executive Order (“E.O.”) 13850 for operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy, following a determination by the Secretary
Continue Reading OFAC Designates PdVSA

As 2018 came to a close, U.S. financial regulators continued to pursue anti-money laundering (“AML”) enforcement actions against financial institutions, announcing monetary penalties against and resolutions with three U.S. broker-dealers.  The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the
Continue Reading U.S. Regulators Announce BSA/AML Enforcement Actions Against U.S. Broker-Dealers

On December 19, 2018, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) announced its plan to lift sanctions on three Russian entities for agreeing to distance their businesses from a prominent oligarch.  Specifically, OFAC informed Congress of its intention to terminate sanctions on entities previously designated for
Continue Reading OFAC Announces Intent to Delist Rusal and Other Entities Owned by Sanctioned Oligarch Deripaska

On December 3, 2018, a U.S. government working group aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the BSA/AML regime issued a second joint statement, which focuses on innovative industry approaches to BSA/AML compliance.  This follows the working group’s first joint statement last month, which focused on BSA/AML resource sharing
Continue Reading FinCEN and Banking Regulators Issue Joint Statement on Innovation in BSA/AML Compliance

On November 19, 2018, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (“ANPRM”) seeking public comment on “criteria for identifying emerging technologies that are essential to U.S. national security.”[1]  The ANPRM was issued pursuant to the Export Control Reform
Continue Reading First Step Toward Defining “Emerging Technology” Under Export Control Reform Act

On November 19, 2018, a group of five U.S. federal and state prosecutors and regulators[1] announced that they had reached settlements with Société Générale (“SocGen”) under which SocGen will pay penalties totaling $1.34 billion in relation to violations of U.S. economic sanctions concerning Iran, Cuba, Sudan and
Continue Reading U.S. Prosecutors and Regulators Impose Second Largest Penalty Ever Levied Against a Financial Institution for Violations of U.S. Economic Sanctions