Alert October 09, 2012

OCC Issues Bulletin Summarizing Changes in How Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Examination Findings are Reflected in OCC’s Rating and Assessment Systems

The OCC issued a bulletin, OCC 2012-30 (the “Bulletin”), in which the OCC summarized how the OCC reflects Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (“BSA/AML”) compliance examination findings in the OCC’s bank ratings and assessment systems.  The OCC said the changes summarized in the Bulletin reflect the OCC’s “longstanding policy that weaknesses in a bank’s BSA/AML program are serious safety and soundness concerns that require [bank] management’s prompt attention.”

In the Bulletin the OCC highlighted four specific changes:

  1. Effective July 18, 2012, OCC examiners no longer consider BSA/AML examination findings when assigning a rating under the FFIEC’s Camels Consumer Compliance Rating System;
  2. OCC examiners do consider BSA/AML examination findings in a safety and soundness context when assigning a rating for the management component of the FFIEC’s Camels Rating System.  Serious deficiencies in a bank’s BSA/AML compliance program create a presumption that the bank’s rating for “management” will be reduced;
  3. OCC examiners consider BSA/AML compliance examination findings in a safety and soundness context when assigning ratings for “risk management” and for “compliance” under the Risk Management, Operational Controls, Compliance and Asset Quality (ROCA) rating system for federal branches and agencies; and
  4. While OCC examiners, as noted in (1) above, no longer consider BSA/AML examination findings when assigning consumer compliance ratings, the OCC does consider BSA/AML examination findings when assessing compliance risk under the OCC’s risk assessment system (which reflects a bank’s compliance with all applicable laws and regulations).