Event: Hdeel Abdelhady to Speak on Managing Money Laundering, Trade Sanctions, and Corruption Risks

MassPoint’s Founder and Principal, Hdeel Abdelhady, will speak at a program on managing money laundering, trade sanctions, and corruption risks in business. The program, entitled “Know Your Business Partners: A Must to Managing Money Laundering, Trade Sanctions, and Corruption Risks,” will take place on November 17, 2017 in Washington, D.C. at the American Bar Association Business Law Section’s Fall 2017 Meeting.      

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Wolfsberg Group Updates Correspondent Banking Due Diligence Questionnaire

Wolfsberg Group Correspondent Banking Due Diligence Questionnaire 2017 The Wolfsberg Group, a group of thirteen global banks, on October 15, 2017 announced its issuance of a "comprehensively" updated Correspondent Banking Due Diligence Questionnaire (the "CBDDQ"). The CBDDQ responds to FATF Recommendation 13 on Correspondent Banking and is the international correspondent banking standard on which the Wolfsberg Group members have "settled", "committed to being early adopters of," and plan to support "with FAQ's and additional awareness raising materials." The Wolfsberg Group is making the CBDDQ available to the "banking community;" requests for the CBDDQ should be directed to the Wolfsberg Group Secretariat by email to ddq@wolfsberg-principles.com. *** Key excerpts from the Wolfsberg Group statement on the… Read More Continue Reading

Hdeel Abdelhady Discussed the NYDFS Habib Bank Enforcement Action

MassPoint’s Founder and Principal, Hdeel Abdelhady, discussed the legal significance and potential commercial implications of the NYDFS’ enforcement action against Habib Bank at a time of correspondent banking derisking. Ms. Abdelhady stated that: “at any time, the loss a New York banking license and direct access to the U.S. financial system would be devastating, but the potential implications of the lost license may be greater now given that U.S. banks have steadily exited or limited foreign correspondent relationships in recent years, leaving foreign banks cut off from or with limited or costly access to the U.S. dollar and financial system.” Read Ms. Abdelhady’s full comments here in this comprehensive piece, by… Read More

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FinCEN Expands Geographic Targeting Orders

August Geographic Targeting Orders Cover Funds Transfers and Hawaii Luxury Residential Real Estate   On August 22, 2017, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued revised Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) designed to combat money laundering and related financial crimes in select U.S. residential real estate markets. The GTOs further expand the scope of GTOs issued in January 2016, expanded in July 2016, and renewed in February 2017. In tandem with the August GTOs, FinCEN issued an Advisory to Financial Institutions and Real Estate Firms and Professionals (the “Advisory”) and FAQs. This Business Update outlines the key provisions of the August GTO. For information about this Business Update or MassPoint’s related… Read More

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World Bank Accountability Act of 2017

World Bank Accountability Act of 2017 Would Condition Certain U.S. Appropriations on World Bank’s Anti-Corruption and Counter-Violent Extremism Performance and Authorize Trump Administration’s Request to Reduce Funding to IDA  On July 25, 2017, the House Financial Services Committee will meet to markup H.R. 3326, the “World Bank Accountability Act of 2017.” H.R. 3326 was introduced in the House on July 20, 2017 by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), who is a member of the House Financial Services Committee. To date, the bill has no co-sponsors. The stated purpose of the World Bank Accountability Act of 2017 is to “increase accountability, combat corruption, and strengthen management effectiveness at the World Bank.” Among other… Read More

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State-Owned Enterprises and Anti-Corruption Enforcement

Anti-Corruption Enforcement and State-Owned Enterprises: Understand Unique Risks and Incentivize Compliance State-owned enterprises (SOEs, including sovereign wealth funds) are prominent players in international business. Given their ownership, SOEs have garnered scrutiny for their lack of transparency and heightened anti-corruption and anti-money laundering risk, as have individual SOE executives and other personnel who qualify as Politically Exposed Persons. In connection with commercial activities, SOEs are not protected in most cases by sovereign immunity. Thus, SOEs can, like their privately-owned counterparts, be subject to foreign legal processes. Given the greater scrutiny around SOEs and some of the high profile enforcement actions involving them directly or indirectly (for example, the 1MDB case), anti-corruption… Read More

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Basel Committee Clarifies Guidance on Countering Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing in Correspondent Banking

Guidelines on Sound management of risks related to money laundering and financing of terrorism Snapshot Update June 7, 2017 Today the Bank for International Settlements' Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) issued "Guidelines on Sound management of risks related to money laundering and financing of terrorism" (the "Guidelines"). The Guidelines were issued "to describe how banks should include money laundering (ML) and financing of terrorism (FT) risks within their overall risk management." With respect to foreign correspondent banking, the Guidelines' clarifications are designed to respond to the withdrawal of correspondent banking relationships (derisking) that have adversely affected banks and, in some cases, entire regions. Accordingly, Annex 2 of the Guidelines includes a… Read More Continue Reading

U.S. Senators Raise National Security Concerns About Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate

U.S. Senators Ask GAO to Assess CFIUS' Approach to Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate Senators Seek Review of CFIUS' Capacity and Approach to "Full Range of National Security Issues" Posed by Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate On May 17, 2017, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH)—respectively ranking members of the Senate Finance; Homeland Security and Government Affairs; and Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committees of the U.S. Senate—asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the approach taken by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to foreign investment in U.S. real estate and to "assess whether and how CFIUS… Read More Continue Reading

Money Laundering and Lawyers’ Obligations After the Panama Papers

Event: Has the Legal Profession Lost its Moral Compass? The Panama Papers, Lawyers’ Professional Ethics and Due Diligence Obligations As Co-Chair of the Middle East Committee of the American Bar Association Section of International Law, MassPoint's Hdeel Abdelhady organized and will moderate a program on lawyers' obligations to detect and report illicit client activity, in particular money laundering. Lawyers in the EU, for example, have been required for years to perform client due diligence and file suspicious activity reports (SARs) in accordance EU anti-money laundering directives. U.S. lawyers have no parallel obligations; however, U.S. lawyers are prohibited by rules of professional conduct from knowingly allowing their services to be used for… Read More Continue Reading