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FinCEN Indicts USAA Federal Savings Bank for Violating the Bank Secrecy Act

FinCEN Indicts USAA Federal Savings Bank for Violating the Bank Secrecy Act

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has announced that it has assessed a $140 million civil money penalty against USAA Federal Savings Bank (USAA FSB) for willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its implementing regulations. As its customer base and revenue grew in recent years, USAA FSB willfully failed to ensure that its compliance program kept pace, says an official press note released by FinCEN on 17 March.

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Specifically, USAA FSB admitted that it willfully failed to implement and maintain an anti‑money laundering (AML) program that met the minimum requirements of the BSA from at least January 2016 through April 2021.

USAA FSB also admitted that it willfully failed to accurately and timely report thousands of suspicious transactions to FinCEN involving suspicious financial activity by its customers, including customers using personal accounts for apparent criminal activity.

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“As its customer base and revenue grew in recent years, USAA FSB willfully failed to ensure that its compliance program kept pace, resulting in millions of dollars in suspicious transactions flowing through the U.S. financial system without appropriate reporting,” said FinCEN’s Acting Director Himamauli Das.

Himamauli added, “USAA FSB also received ample notice and opportunity to remediate its inadequate AML program, but repeatedly failed to do so. Today’s action signals that growth and compliance must be paired, and AML program deficiencies, especially deficiencies identified by federal regulators, must be promptly and effectively addressed.”

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) assessed a civil penalty of $60 million for related violations.  As many of the facts and circumstances underlying the OCC’s civil penalty also form the basis of FinCEN’s Consent Order, FinCEN agreed to credit the $60 million civil penalty imposed by the OCC.  Taken together, USAA FSB will pay a total of $140 million to the U.S. Treasury for its violations, with $80 million representing FinCEN’s penalty and $60 million representing the OCC’s penalty.

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Source: FinCEN newsroom

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