OCC seeks data on crypto assets and identity theft

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued two notices last week, June 7 and June 8, seeking comment on the agency’s plans to collect more information from banks and other institutions. about crypto-assets and red flags about identity theft.

The money laundering risk associated with cryptocurrencies has been a constant concern of regulators for the past few years. Just last week, US policymakers held two different hearings on Capitol Hill on the role of cryptocurrencies in ransomware attacks and illicit terrorist financing.

One of the recommendations of Senator Gary Peters, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, in a recent report on this issue, was that US agencies should have more data to combat these crimes.

Just days after this recommendation, the OCC published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it was introducing amendments to the Bank Secrecy/Money Laundering Risk Assessment Act, also known as money laundering risk (MLR) system, to collect more information. .

The MLR system enhances the ability of examiners and bank management to identify and assess Bank Secrecy/Money Laundering Act and Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) sanction risks associated with products , services, customers and bank locations. Therefore, the MLR risk assessment is an important tool for the OCC’s Bank Secrecy/Anti-Money Laundering Act and OFAC oversight activities, as it allows the agency to better identify institutions, and areas within institutions, that may pose increased risk.

According to the agency, banks will also benefit from reporting MLR data, as it will help them manage banks’ BSA/AML programs and provide a starting point for banks to develop their risk assessments.

The OCC now offers to collect new MLR information in its annual Risk Summary Form (RSF). For 2022, the RSF will include three new products and services in crypto assets: custody, stablecoin issuance, and stablecoin payments. The OCC is also adding three new types of customers to the money transmitter category: customers who accept or transmit cryptocurrency; crypto ATM operators; and crypto asset exchanges.

The OCC will collect this data for community and trust banks overseen by the regulator. Collection will be fully automated, making data entry fast and efficient and providing electronic records to all parties, the agency said in the notice. The agency is seeking comments on this proposal until August 8.

Read more: US lawmakers crack down on crypto ransom payments

Identity theft red flags

The second initiative released by the OCC focuses on identity theft. According to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2033 (FACT Act), various agencies, including the OCC, are required to issue guidelines to financial institutions and creditors regarding identity theft at the towards their account holders and customers and to update them as often as necessary. .

FACT also requires the OCC and other agencies to identify specific patterns, practices, and forms of activity that indicate the possible existence of identity theft. Banks and financial institutions also have obligations. For example, financial institutions regulated by the OCC must establish an identity theft prevention program designed to detect, prevent and mitigate account-related identity theft. Financial institutions are also urged to consider these guidelines when developing their identity theft prevention programs, especially since the first program must be approved by the institution’s board of directors. .

While identity theft red flag guidelines were first published in 2007, the agencies are seeking public comment until July 7 to determine whether the information collected for these purposes is adequate. . This is the second time the OCC has issued a notice for comment on this topic since the first notice, posted in March, was closed without receiving comment.



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