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Federal Reserve Board issues joint statement encouraging depository institutions to explore innovative approaches to meet BSA/anti-money laundering compliance obligations and to further strengthen the financial system against illicit financial activity

December 03, 2018

Federal Reserve Board issues joint statement encouraging depository institutions to explore innovative approaches to meet BSA/anti-money laundering compliance obligations and to further strengthen the financial system against illicit financial activity

For release at 11:00 a.m. EST

The Federal Reserve Board along with four other regulatory agencies on Monday issued a joint statement encouraging depository institutions to explore innovative approaches to both meet their Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) compliance obligations and to further strengthen the financial system against illicit financial activity.

The statement recognizes that private sector innovation, including new ways of using existing tools or adopting new technologies--such as artificial intelligence--can help banks and credit unions identify and report money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit financial activity. The agencies will not penalize firms that maintain effective anti-money laundering programs but choose not to pursue innovative approaches.

To assist depository institutions in this effort, the statement also makes clear that regulators are committed to continued engagement with the private sector and other interested parties. The agencies have or will establish projects or offices that will work to support the implementation of responsible innovation and new technology in the financial system. While banks and credit unions should continue to follow existing protocols for communication with their respective regulator, these projects or offices may also serve as central points of contact to facilitate communication related to innovation and new technology.

Today's joint statement results from a working group formed by the Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the U.S. Treasury's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence that aims to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the BSA/AML regime.

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