VITAL4, a woman-owned SaaS data technology company based in Atlanta, Georgia, is giving away free subscriptions of their software to small community banks and credit unions nationwide that are approved to process Payment Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EDIL). VITAL4 realizes that banks are struggling to keep up with the process and are also concerned about maintaining compliance while processing high volume loans. VITAL4 recognizes the compliance challenges for the banks and the importance of expeditious screening during this time, especially for small businesses that are still waiting to obtain a loan.
On April 3, the Financial Crimes Enforcements Network (FinCEN) put out a notice to address the concerns and challenges that Financial Institutions face with respect to complying with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and their continuing obligations during this crisis. The notice stated:
Compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) remains crucial to protecting our national security by combating money laundering and related crimes, including terrorism and its financing. FinCEN expects financial institutions to continue following a risk-based approach, and to diligently adhere to their BSA obligations. Source: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, April 3, 2020. FinCEN also appreciates that financial institutions are taking actions to protect employees, their families, and others in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created challenges in meeting certain BSA obligations, including the timing requirements for certain BSA report filings. FinCEN will continue outreach to regulatory partners and financial institutions to ensure risk-based compliance with the BSA, and FinCEN will issue additional new information as appropriate.
As a Screening Provider that offers comprehensive, AI-driven data to financial institutions to combat terrorism and money laundering activities, VITAL4 is donating their SaaS Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Screening tool and sees it as an excellent opportunity to help. Unfortunately, this crisis has created an environment that is ripe for fraud, and the banks are concerned about liability. In some cases, they are only offering loans to already “vetted” customers to mitigate risk. Unfortunately, this process is causing a major delay for many businesses to get the critical funds they need to stay alive.