On October 19, 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Treasury, published in the Federal Register a grant of conditional exception [FinCEN Issuance 2016-1] pursuant to authority under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), which would permit certain U.S. financial institutions to maintain correspondent accounts for Burmese banks under certain conditions, that is, provided that such covered financial institution subjects the account to the due diligence obligations set forth under Section 312 of the USA PATRIOT Act and its implementing regulation 31 C.F.R. 1010.610.

FinCEN states that it is providing this exceptive relief given (i) FinCEN’s assessment of Burma’s progress to date in addressing issues identified in FinCEN’s 2003 finding that Burma was a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern; (ii) a high-level commitment by Burma to continue making progress in addressing those issues; and (iii) FinCEN’s consideration of the ongoing effect on U.S. national security and foreign policy of U.S. financial institutions’ compliance with 31 C.F.R. 1010.651. (See Federal Register document for steps that Burma has taken.)

This conditional exception is applicable beginning October 7, 2016.