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Subject: Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering
Date: May 20, 2003
To: Chief Executive Officers and Compliance Officers of All National Banks, Federal Branches and Agencies, Department and Division Heads, and All Examining Personnel
Description: Revocation of Designation of Ukraine as Primary Money–Laundering Concern; Proposed Rule Imposing Special Measures Against the Country of Nauru
This bulletin transmits a notice revoking the designation of Ukraine as a primary money- laundering concern. It also transmits a proposed rule to impose "special measures" against Nauru. Section 5318A of the Bank Secrecy Act, as added by section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act, authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to designate a foreign jurisdiction, institution, class of transaction, or type of account as being of "primary money-laundering concern," and to impose one or more of five "special measures."
On December 20, 2002, the Department of Treasury (Treasury) designated Ukraine as a primary money-laundering concern under section 5318A (see OCC 2002-47). The attached document explains that Treasury is revoking this designation, as of April 17, 2003, because Ukraine has taken steps to address deficiencies that were identified in the December 20 designation. Ukraine amended its anti-money-laundering law, banking and financial services laws, and criminal code to combat money laundering. The document also notes that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has rescinded its call for counter-measures against Ukraine. However, Ukraine remains on the FATF's list of noncooperative countries and territories because these laws have yet to be implemented. Transactions involving Ukraine continue to present a heightened risk of money laundering, and the April 2002 Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) advisory on transactions involving Ukraine remains in effect.
Separately, on December 20, 2002, Treasury designated Nauru as a primary money-laundering concern (see OCC 2002-47). The attached notice of proposed rulemaking outlines the measures proposed by Treasury to address the heightened money-laundering risks posed by Nauru. The proposed rule would prohibit covered U.S. financial institutions from opening or maintaining in the U.S. any correspondent account, or "payable through account," for a foreign financial institution if that account is maintained for, or on behalf of, a Nauru financial institution. Also, the proposal would require termination of accounts for foreign banks that are used to indirectly provide services to a Nauru financial institution. Comments may be submitted to the Treasury Department on or before May 19, 2003.
Please direct questions about the proposed regulation to your OCC supervisory office or the Compliance Division at (202) 874-4428.
David G. Hammaker