There are two kinds of guidances, according to recently appointed Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Claire McCusker Murray, which should be treated quite differently.[1]  Her explanation is worth quoting at length:

The key is to distinguish between two categories of guidance, the part that mirrors what the law requires


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On May 3, 2019, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) published A Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments (the “Compliance Framework”), a guidance document that sets forth OFAC’s views of the essential elements of an effective economic sanctions compliance program (“SCP”).  OFAC
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Last week, the SEC staff published new detailed guidance on its views of when a digital asset may be considered a security, in the form of two documents:  a guidance “framework” issued by the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology and a no-action letter from the SEC’s Division
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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
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On October 11, 2018, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued a lengthy “Advisory on the Iranian Regime’s Illicit and Malign Activities and Attempts to Exploit the Financial System,” (the “Iran Advisory”), which provides examples and typologies of the Iranian regime’s exploitation
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The past two weeks have seen a number of developments with respect to U.S. sanctions relating to Russia, as the Trump administration has (1) taken additional steps to ameliorate adverse consequences for U.S. persons of the significant sanctions actions targeting Russian oligarchs announced on April 6, 2018; (2) further implemented
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Guidance is guidance, and rules are rules.  This straightforward statement was reiterated by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles and Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting in separate Congressional hearings earlier this year.[1]  Nevertheless, for at least the past ten years, the failure to
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On August 6, 2018, President Trump issued Executive Order (“E.O.“) 13846,  further implementing his May 8, 2018 decision to terminate the United States’ participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran (“JCPOA”). The following day, as certain re-imposed sanctions took effect, the President
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Not enough attention has been paid to the FFIEC’s policy announcement on enforcement which is, we hope, the first step toward fundamental change.  The Policy Statement on Interagency Notification of Formal Enforcement Actions rescinds a 1997 policy statement and addresses the need for coordination in enforcement actions among the Board
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