On June 30, 2016, the New York State Department of Financial Services issued its Transaction Monitoring and Filtering Program Requirements and Certifications final rule, which includes several notable departures from the proposal that was issued by the DFS on December 1, 2015. The issuance of the final rule is another example of the DFS enforcing anti-money laundering and sanctions requirements applicable to banks under US federal law. Like the proposed rule, the final rule requires covered institutions to maintain a transaction monitoring program for potential Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering violations and suspicious activity reporting, maintain a filtering program to prevent transactions that are prohibited by the Office of Foreign Assets Control and submit to the DFS annually a confirmation regarding compliance with the DFS’ transaction monitoring and filtering program requirements.

Perhaps most significantly, and apparently in recognition of serious concerns raised by the industry during the comment period, the final rule does not include the proposed “annual certification” by an institution’s chief compliance officer attesting to a covered institution’s compliance with the rule, nor does it include a reference to criminal penalties for filing an incorrect or false certification. Instead, the final rule requires an annual board resolution or senior officer compliance finding confirming that the covered institution is in compliance with the regulation “to the best of the [individual’s] knowledge.” The final rule also introduced a “reasonably designed” standard into the transaction monitoring and filtering programs that institutions must establish.

The DFS final rule is available at: http://www.dfs.ny.gov/legal/regulations/adoptions/dfsp504t.pdf