The Latest News

Trump Administration Issues Massive Sanctions on Venezuela

August 13, 2019

On 5 August 2019 the Trump Administration issued an executive order imposing additional sanctions on the Government of Venezuela that specifically allows “transactions related to provision of articles such as food, clothing and medicine intended to be used to relive human suffering.” The next day the Department of Treasury issued a guidance document that

Letter to Senators: Help International Charities Facing Problems with Banking Services

August 1, 2019

Congressional efforts to update the Bank Secrecy Act could help nonprofit organizations (NPOs) that face increasingly urgent problems with transferring funds across borders. Four Senators have circulated a discussion draft ILLICT CASH ACT that includes provisions to address “bank derisking,” including the impacts on NPOs. A July 11 letter from the Charity & Security Network to Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Doug Jones (D-AL), Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Mark Warner (D-VA) expresses support for provisions on derisking and makes recommendations to strengthen them. In particular, the letter urges the bill to require federal banking regulators to update and revise the Bank Examination Manual chapter on NPOs to bring it into line with the Financial Action Task Force’s 2016 update of its standard on anti-terrorist financing regulations for NPOs. The Bank Examination Manual does not incorporate the new standard’s risk-based, proportionate approach that is intended to prevent terrorist financing while not disrupting the activities of legitimate NPOs. (A related bill is awaiting action on the floor of the House of Representatives.)

INGOs Call on UN to Protect Humanitarian Action

June 25, 2019

A group of 13 international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) that provide humanitarian aid in areas of greatest need call on the UN’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to provide the “fullest support for efforts to protect principled humanitarian action from the impact of counterterrorism measures.” Noting that this year is the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, the June 19 letter states that although the UN has sa

BSA Reform Bill Clears House Committee

May 28, 2019

A bill designed to update the Bank Secrecy Act for the first time since the PATRIOT Act was passed contains two provisions that could benefit nonprofit organizations (NPOs) struggling with access to financial services. The bill passed unanimously out of the House Financial Services Committee on May 8, 2019. 

The Coordinating Oversight, Upgrading and Innovating Technology, and Examiner Reform Act of 2019 (COUNTER Act, H.R. 2514) directs the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Federal functional regulators (as defined under section 103) and other relevant stakeholders, to undertake a formal review and issue a report on the "adverse consequences of financial institutions de-risking entire categories of relationships, including charities, embassy accounts, money services businesses,"  countries, regions, and respondent banks; the reasons why financial institutions are engaging in de-risking; the association with and effects of de-risking on money laundering and financial crime actors and activities; and the most appropriate ways to promote financial inclusion while maintaining compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act.