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
Continue Reading SEC Staff Doubles Down on Howey for Digital Assets

On December 19, 2018 the European Commission published the legislative proposals and delegated acts (the “Package”) which it had previously outlined in its Contingency Action Plan of November 13, 2018 to prepare for a “no-deal” scenario whereby the UK exits the EU on March 29, 2019 without a
Continue Reading EU No-Deal Contingency Planning

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 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
Continue Reading As Sanctions “Snap-Back” Approaches, FinCEN Advisory Emphasizes Risks to the U.S. and International Financial Systems Posed by Iran

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
Continue Reading Russia Sanctions Updates

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
Continue Reading Interagency Statement on Supervisory Guidance Could Result in Meaningful Changes to Supervisory Practices

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
Continue Reading President Trump Issues Executive Order Re-Imposing Iran Sanctions, Signals Aggressive Enforcement to Come

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
Continue Reading Federal Banking Agencies’ New Policy on Coordinating Enforcement Actions Is an Important First Step

On June 19, 2018, Margaret E. Tahyar will moderate the “Supervisory and Examination Issues and Updates” panel at the 2018 Prudential Regulation Conference hosted by SIFMA and The Clearing House in Washington, D.C.  In connection with Ms. Tahyar’s participation in this event, we are today releasing two interrelated visual memoranda
Continue Reading Visual Memoranda: The Federal Reserve’s Proposed Governance Guidance for Boards and Management and Proposed Large Financial Institution Rating System

The increased emphasis by the prudential banking agencies on recovery planning is evidenced by the Comptroller’s recent publication of a new recovery planning module for the Comptroller’s Handbook.  The addition of this module to the handbook flows from the OCC’s previously published guidelines[1] on recovery planning.[2] Recovery planning
Continue Reading OCC Adds Recovery Planning to the Comptroller’s Handbooks