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ABA: The American Bankers Association
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ABA Issues Staff Analysis on FinCEN’s Guidance for Banks Coping with COVID-19

ABA issued a staff analysis on FinCEN's additional guidance for banks dealing with changed circumstances under the national emergency, particularly how to manage compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act expectations under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. FinCEN clarified that banks will not be required to reverify beneficial ownership information for PPP loans made to existing customers “unless otherwise indicated by the institution’s risk-based approach to BSA compliance.”

FinCEN also reminded banks of a 2018 ruling providing certain exceptive relief from the beneficial ownership rule, and noted that it would “continue to assess reasonable risk-based approaches to BSA obligations and will issue further information, as appropriate, particularly as the CARES Act is implemented.”

In addition, recognizing the operational challenges many banks are facing due to COVID-19, FinCEN also said it would temporarily suspend a February 2020 ruling on currency transaction reporting requirements for reporting transactions involving sole proprietorships and entities operating under a “doing business as” name until further notice. Banks that have not yet made necessary changes to comply with the 2020 ruling should continue reporting these transactions based on prior practices. Read ABA's staff analysis. For more information, contact Rob Rowe.