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    OCC Issues Recommendations on Stablecoins and Other Regulatory Updates

    April 27, 2022

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) finalized a rule on exemptions to suspicious activity report (SAR) requirements, issued an order against Anchorage Bank, and published a statement on standards for stablecoins.

    Below are the key highlights of the aforementioned developments:

    • The final rule on SAR harmonizes OCC's legal authority to issue exemptions from its SAR regulations with preexisting exemptive authority of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (FinCEN). The rule, which was to be effective from May 01, 2022, establishes processes for OCC to facilitate changes related to SAR regulations required by the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 and establishes processes for OCC to grant relief to banks that develop innovative solutions intended to meet Bank Secrecy Act requirements more efficiently and effectively. The rule does not, by itself, result in any exemptions from SAR requirements, but it clarifies the OCC's legal authority to issue such exemptions in the future.
    • OCC issued an enforcement action against Anchorage Digital Bank (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) based on the bank’s failure to adopt and implement a compliance program that adequately covers the required Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) program elements. The Consent Order issued by OCC sets out the regulator's expectations and the correction actions required from the bank.
    • The Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael J. Hsu issued a statement highlighting that stablecoins lack shared standards and are not interoperable. Mr. Hsu notes, to ensure that stablecoins are open and inclusive, a standard-setting initiative similar to that undertaken by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) needs to be established, with representatives not just from crypto/Web3 firms, but also including academics and government.


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    Keywords: Americas, US, Banking, Suspicious Activity Report, AML CFT, FinCEN, Bank Secrecy Act, Stablecoins, Crypto-Assets, Digital Assets, Cyber Risk, Regtech, SAR Reporting, Anchorage Digital Bank, OCC

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