The deadline is fast approaching for every non-bank residential mortgage originator—mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers—to implement an AML (anti-money laundering) program. As of August 13, 2012, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is requiring such entities to:
- Develop internal policies, procedures, and controls
- Designate a compliance officer
- Institute an ongoing employee training program
- Employ an independent audit function to test programs
As part of the AML program, non-bank residential mortgage lenders must also implement programs to report potential money laundering, fraud, and other criminal activity to the government in the form of a SAR (suspicious activity report). The penalties for non-compliance are severe, ranging from cease-and-desist orders and civil money penalties to stiff fines and other criminal penalties.
Now is the time to assess whether your AML program will pass muster with the regulators. Use our questionnaire as a starting point to think about these issues.