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Release Date: January 16, 2001

For immediate release

The Federal Reserve Board today disseminated guidance designed to assist financial institutions in applying enhanced scrutiny to transactions that may involve the proceeds of foreign official corruption.

The guidance was developed by a working group that includes the departments of Treasury and State, the Board and the other federal banking agencies. It is intended to build upon financial institutions’ existing anti-money laundering and due diligence programs by providing suggested procedures for account opening and maintenance for persons known to be senior political figures, their immediate family and close associates. It also contains a list of questionable or suspicious activities that often would warrant closer scrutiny.

The guidance, distributed with a letter to Federal Reserve supervisors and to banking organizations, should be understood as a set of suggested sound practices that financial institutions are encouraged to use as they seek to deter money laundering and minimize legal risks and potential reputational damage.

Supervisory letters are the Federal Reserve’s primary means of communicating key policy directives to its examiners, supervisory staff and the banking industry. Supervisory letters can be viewed on the Board’s Web site at www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/srletters.

The supervisory letter and guidance are attached.

Statement by Governor Edward W. Kelley, Jr.
Supervisory letter
Guidance (28 KB PDF)

2001 Banking and consumer regulatory policy

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Last update: January 16, 2001