December 5th, 2006 04:40 EST
OFAC and New York State Banking Department to Exchange Information on Bank Compliance
The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the New York State Banking Department today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines procedures for the exchange of sanctions compliance and enforcement information between the two agencies.
The MOU is the first such agreement patterned on a template developed by OFAC and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS). The procedures specified in the MOU will facilitate the sharing of information on sanctions violations and other deficiencies, whether those deficiencies are found by OFAC or during examinations conducted by state banking regulators.
"The signing of this MOU will enhance cooperation between our agencies as we work together to safeguard the financial system from illicit conduct and assure that it is not used to finance terrorism, narcotics trafficking, or to otherwise circumvent U.S. sanctions," said OFAC Director Adam Szubin. "I look forward to building on the important step we have taken with New York by executing similar agreements with other states and territories."
"The information-sharing procedures agreed upon in this MOU will enable more efficient detection and prevention of crimes conducted through our financial system," said Superintendent Diana Taylor. "It will enhance our work with OFAC to ensure the safety and soundness of financial institutions in New York State and throughout the world."
In mid-October, CSBS President and CEO Neil Milner strongly urged all state banking departments to adopt the model MOU. "Our goal is to obtain signatures from all 50 states to cement this relationship with OFAC," he said.
OFAC is the U.S. Government's primary administrator and enforcer of economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against terrorists, weapons proliferators, narco-traffickers, and rogue regimes.
The New York State Banking Department is the regulator for all state-chartered banking institutions, virtually all of the United States offices of international banking institutions, all of the State's mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers, check cashers, money transmitters and budget planners. The aggregate assets of the depository institutions supervised by the Banking Department are more than $1.5 trillion. NYSBD press releases and other information are available at www.banking.state.ny.us.
The MOU document is available on OFAC's Web site at http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/civpen/OFACNYMOU.pdf, and on the New York State Banking Department's Web site at: http://www.banking.state.ny.us/pr061204.pdf.
Source:US Treasury Dept.