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Rule

Imposition of Special Measures Against Myanmar Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank

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AGENCY:

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Treasury.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

On November 18, 2003, the Secretary of the Treasury (Secretary) designated Myanmar Mayflower Bank (Mayflower Bank) and Asia Wealth Bank, both Burmese banks, as financial institutions of primary money laundering concern, and proposed a special measure certain U.S. financial institutions would be required to take concerning these two banks, pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 5318A, as added by section 311 of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001. FinCEN is issuing this final rule to require certain U.S. financial institutions to take the proposed special measure with respect to these two institutions.

DATES:

Effective date: May 12, 2004.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Office of Regulatory Programs (FinCEN), (202) 354-6400 or; the Office of Chief Counsel (FinCEN), (703) 905-3590 (not toll free numbers).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Secretary has designated Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank as financial institutions of primary money laundering concern under 31 U.S.C. 5318A, as added by section 311(a) of the USA PATRIOT Act (Pub. L. 107-56) (the Act). To protect the U.S. financial system from the money laundering threat posed by these financial institutions, FinCEN is imposing one of the special measures authorized by section 5318A(b), specifically, the fifth special measure. The fifth special measure prohibits certain U.S. financial institutions from maintaining correspondent or payable-through accounts in the United States for, or on behalf of, Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank. This prohibition extends to correspondent or payable-through accounts maintained for other foreign banks when such accounts are used to provide banking services to the two named Burmese banks indirectly.

Additionally, by separate notice and final rule, the Department is imposing the fifth special measure to prohibit certain U.S. financial institutions from maintaining correspondent or payable-through accounts for, or on behalf of, any Burmese banking institution. Notwithstanding any exemption in that notice and final rule applicable to other Burmese financial institutions under Executive Order 13310 of July 28, 2003, the special measure in this notice prohibits certain U.S. financial institutions from establishing, maintaining, administering, or managing correspondent or payable-through accounts for, or on behalf of, Myanmar Mayflower Bank or Asia Wealth Bank.

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I. Background

A. Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act

On October 26, 2001, the President signed the Act into law. Title III of the Act amends the anti-money laundering provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) (codified in subchapter II of chapter 53 of title 31, United States Code) to promote the prevention, detection, and prosecution of international money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Section 311 of the Act (Section 311) added section 5318A to the BSA, granting the Secretary authority to designate a foreign jurisdiction, institution(s), class(es) of transactions, or type(s) of account(s) as a “primary money laundering concern” and to require U.S. financial institutions to take certain “special measures” against the primary money laundering concern.

Section 311 identifies factors to consider and agencies to consult before the Secretary may designate a primary money laundering concern. The statute also provides similar procedures, i.e., factors and consultation requirements, for selecting the imposition of specific special measures against the designee.

Taken as a whole, Section 311 provides FinCEN with a range of options that can be adapted to target most effectively specific money laundering and terrorist financing concerns. These options give the Secretary the authority to bring additional and useful pressure on those jurisdictions and institutions that pose money laundering threats. Through the imposition of various special measures, the Secretary can gain more information about the concerned jurisdictions, institutions, transactions, and accounts; more effectively monitor the respective institutions, transactions, and accounts; and/or protect U.S. financial institutions from involvement with jurisdictions, institutions, transactions, or accounts that pose a money laundering concern.

1. Imposition of Special Measures

If the Secretary determines that a foreign financial institution is of primary money laundering concern, the Secretary must determine the appropriate special measure(s) to address the specific money laundering risks. Section 311 provides a range of special measures that can be imposed, individually, jointly, in any combination, and in any sequence.[1]

The Secretary's imposition of special measures follows procedures similar to those for designations, but carries with it additional consultations to be made and factors to consider. The statute requires the Secretary to consult with appropriate agencies and other interested parties [2] and to consider the following specific factors:

  • Whether similar action has been or is being taken by other nations or multilateral groups;
  • Whether the imposition of any particular special measure would create a significant competitive disadvantage, including any undue cost or burden associated with compliance, for financial institutions organized or licensed in the United States;
  • The extent to which the action or the timing of the action would have a significant adverse systemic impact on the international payment, clearance, and settlement system, or on legitimate business activities involving the particular institution; and
  • The effect of the action on United States national security and foreign policy.

2. Procedures for Imposing Special Measures

In this final rule, the Secretary, through FinCEN, is imposing the fifth special measure (31 U.S.C. 5318A(b)(5)) against Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank. This special measure may only be imposed through the issuance of a regulation.

B. Burma, Myanmar Mayflower Bank, and Asia Wealth Bank

1. The Burmese Anti-Money Laundering Regime

Burma (also known as Myanmar) has no effective anti-money laundering controls in place. As a result, in June 2001 Burma was designated as a Non-Cooperative Country and Territory (NCCT) by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) [3] for its lack of basic anti-money laundering provisions and weak oversight of the banking sector. Following the designation by the FATF, in April 2002, FinCEN issued an advisory to U.S. financial institutions to give enhanced scrutiny to all transactions originating in or routed to or through Burma, or involving entities organized or domiciled, or persons maintaining accounts, in Burma. Deficiencies identified by FATF and the FinCEN advisory included:

  • Burma lacks a basic set of anti-money laundering laws or regulations.
  • Money laundering is not a criminal offense for crimes other than drug trafficking in Burma.
  • The Burmese Central Bank has no anti-money laundering regulations for financial institutions.
  • Banks licensed by Burma are not legally required to obtain or maintain identification information about their customers.
  • Banks licensed by Burma are not required to maintain transaction records of customer accounts.
  • Burma does not require financial institutions to report suspicious transactions.
  • Burma has significant obstacles to international co-cooperation by judicial authorities.

In June 2002, Burma responded to this international pressure by enacting an anti-money laundering law that purportedly addresses some of these deficiencies. Because of the lack of implementing regulations, the Burmese anti-money laundering law could not be regarded as effectively remedying any of the identified deficiencies. Due to Burma's continuing lack of progress, the FATF called upon its member jurisdictions to impose countermeasures on Burma as of November 3, 2003. On December 5, 2003, Burma issued regulations to implement this law. However, the regulations do not set threshold amounts or time limits. The regulations also do not address the need for a mutual assistance law. The 2003 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, issued in March 2004, states that Burma must still implement and enforce the December 2003 regulations and address their deficiencies. In addition, Burma must provide adequate resources for supervision of the financial sector and end policies that make it easy for drug money to enter the legitimate economy.[4]

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The United States continues to recognize that Burma is a haven for international drug trafficking. On January 31, 2003, the President also signed Presidential Determination No. 2003-14, identifying Burma as a major illicit drug producing and/or drug transiting country pursuant to section 706(1) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Pub. L. 107-228), and as a country that has failed demonstrably during the previous twelve months to adhere to its obligations under international counter-narcotics agreements and take the measures set forth in section 489(a)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA). In addition, this past year Burma continued to be named as a major money laundering country. A major money laundering country is defined by statute as one “whose financial institutions engage in currency transactions including significant amounts of proceeds from international narcotics trafficking.” FAA section 481(e)(7).

2. Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank

Mayflower Bank was incorporated in 1996 as a full-service commercial bank in Rangoon, Burma. The bank maintains 25 branches and has 1,153 employees. The Banker's Almanac and Dun and Bradstreet reports indicate that Mayflower Bank was incorporated in 1994. According to the 2003 Europa World Yearbook, the chairman of Mayflower Bank is Kyaw Win. The 1996-1997 Worldwide Correspondents Guide indicates that Mayflower Bank claims to have correspondent accounts in major cities, but advises readers to contact the bank for more information. The current issue of Thomson Bank Directory states that current financial figures for the bank are not available.

Asia Wealth Bank started its banking operation in 1995 and is one of the largest private banks in Burma, offering a wide variety of banking services. In August 2000, Asia Wealth Bank held 52 percent of the market share in fixed deposits of Burmese banks (over U.S. $23 billion). At the end of March 2001, it had 39 branches with a total of 3,200 employees (in December 2002, Dun and Bradstreet indicated only 2,200 employees). According to the 2003 Europa World Yearbook, Win Maung is the Chairman and Aik Htun is the Vice-Chair.

Presently Burma is reported to have only ten local private banks, and Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank are two of the five largest. There are also five state-run (i.e., public) banks in Burma.[5] Other reports indicate that there may be as many as 20 private banks, but confirm that Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank are two of the leading banks.[6]

The Secretary designated Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank, both located in Burma, as primary money laundering concerns due to a number of factors, including: (1) They are licensed in Burma, a jurisdiction with inadequate anti-money laundering controls; (2) individuals owning and controlling both banks are linked to drug trafficking and money laundering, including using the banks for such purposes; and (3) the individuals who own and control the banks are linked to the United Wa State Army (UWSA), an organization involved in narcotics trafficking, and designated as significant narcotics traffickers under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act,[7] and, in the case of the Asia Wealth Bank, the owners are linked to organized crime.

C. Economic Sanctions

On July 28, 2003, the President signed both the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 and Executive Order 13310, imposing economic sanctions on Burma. These sanctions generally include: (1) A ban on the exportation or reexportation, directly or indirectly, of financial services to Burma; (2) the blocking of property and interests in property of the State Peace and Development Council of Burma and three state-owned foreign trade banks that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons; and (3) a ban on the importation of Burmese goods into the United States. These sanctions build on an investment ban imposed under Executive Order 13047 issued pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) on May 20, 1997, and a recently expanded visa ban in place since October 1996. The new sanctions have frozen hundreds of thousands of dollars of assets and have disrupted an already weak economy, especially in the important garment sector where many firms have closed or moved outside of Burma.

Executive Order 13310 prohibits broadly the provision of financial services to Burma from the United States or by a U.S. person, subject to limited exceptions.[8] Since the President signed the Order, however, Treasury has issued several licenses to permit transactions with Burma for certain specified purposes. For example, Treasury issued licenses authorizing transactions for the conduct of the official business of the United States Government, the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, and non-commercial personal remittances of up to $300 per household per quarter. The exemptions and licenses reflect the judgment of the United States that certain transactions are necessary and appropriate, even within the framework of this sanctions regime.

D. The Section 311 Special Measures

The requirements imposed against Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank pursuant to Section 311 reinforce the existing restrictions on transactions with Burma that are outlined above, and are a necessary addition to the Section 311 special measures FinCEN is imposing on the jurisdiction of Burma. Although they are similar in their effect on these two banks, the Section 311 special measures differ in certain respects and serve distinct policy goals from the economic sanctions imposed pursuant to Executive Order 13310. Most notably, the Section 311 special measure imposed by this notice does not permit U.S. financial institutions to maintain indirect correspondent accounts even to conduct transactions that are exempt from, or licensed pursuant to, Executive Order 13310. The justification for this absolute prohibition lies in the Secretary's determination that Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank pose an unacceptable risk of money laundering and other financial crimes and are linked to narcotics traffickers. The specific information concerning these two banks justifies their exclusion entirely from the U.S. financial system. This underscores the important policy justification for the Section 311 action—stemming the flow of illicit funds into the U.S. financial system. In contrast, the existing sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13310 were imposed for different reasons, including, for example, the government of Burma's continued suppression of the democratic opposition.

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Moreover, as with the designation of Burma generally, the United States is sending a strong message to other jurisdictions and financial institutions to take similar steps to cut off these two banks from the international financial system due to the unacceptable risk of money laundering.

Finally, while the special measures applicable to all Burmese banking institutions would certainly apply to Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank, a separate designation is necessary. The special measure FinCEN is applying to all Burmese banking institutions incorporates the licenses and exemptions applicable to the economic sanctions under Executive Order 13310. These exceptions are not appropriate when dealing with Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank, given their affiliation with narcotics traffickers. Also, by separately designating these two banks, to the extent Burma responds to the international call and begins to implement effective anti-money laundering controls, FinCEN has the flexibility to alter the special measures applicable to all Burmese financial institutions while maintaining the absolute prohibition against these two institutions. The separate designation of Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank under Section 311 also fulfills another important goal of FinCEN: to name publicly institutions posing risks to the international financial system and encourage all jurisdictions to exclude them.

II. Imposition of Special Measures

As a result of the designation of Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank as primary money laundering concerns, and based upon consultations and the consideration of all relevant factors,[9] the Secretary has determined that grounds exist for the imposition of the special measure authorized by section 5318A(b)(5). Thus, this rulemaking prohibits covered financial institutions from establishing, maintaining, administering, or managing in the United States any correspondent or payable-through account for, or on behalf of, Mayflower Bank or Asia Wealth Bank. This prohibition extends to any correspondent account maintained for any foreign bank if the account is used to provide banking services indirectly to either of these two banks. Financial institutions covered by this rule that obtain knowledge that this is occurring are required to ensure that any such account no longer is used to provide such services, including, where necessary, terminating the correspondent relationship in the manner set forth in this rulemaking.

In imposing this special measure, the Secretary has considered the following pursuant to section 5318A(a)(4)(b):

1. Similar Actions Have Been or Will Be Taken by Other Nations or Multilateral Groups Against Burma Generally

In June of 2001, the FATF designated Burma as an NCCT, resulting in FATF members issuing advisories to their financial sectors recommending enhanced scrutiny of transactions involving Burma. In April 2002 FinCEN issued an advisory notifying U.S. financial institutions that they should accord enhanced scrutiny with respect to transactions and accounts involving Burma. In October 2003, FATF called upon its 33 members to take additional countermeasures with respect to Burma as of November 3, 2003. Based on informal discussions and the past practices of the FATF membership, the majority of FATF members are expected to take countermeasures, including all of the Group of Seven countries. The countermeasures imposed by such FATF members will likely include imposition of additional reporting requirements, issuance of advisories, shifting the burden for reporting obligations, and/or restrictions on the licensing of Burmese financial institutions. Imposition of the fifth special measure against Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank (as well as the jurisdiction of Burma) is consistent with this call for additional countermeasures and forms part of an international effort to protect the financial system.

2. Imposition of the Fifth Special Measure Would Not Create a Significant Competitive Disadvantage, Including Any Undue Cost or Burden Associated With Compliance, For Financial Institutions Organized or Licensed in the United States

United States financial institutions are already prohibited from providing financial services to Burma, unless such services are exempted or licensed. The imposition of the fifth special measure potentially imposes a broader prohibition than currently exists for two reasons—it precludes maintaining correspondent accounts for foreign branches of these two banks and the exemptions and licenses do not apply. However, on balance, it is unlikely that the imposition of the fifth special measure will create any significant additional costs or place U.S. financial institutions at a competitive disadvantage with respect to these two institutions. In fact, FinCEN's action is intended to encourage other jurisdictions and financial institutions to take similar steps to cut off Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank from the international financial system, which will further minimize any potential competitive disadvantage for U.S. financial institutions.

Moreover, the rule does not itself require U.S. financial institutions to perform additional due diligence on their existing foreign bank correspondent account customers beyond what is already required under existing regulations.

3. The Proposed Action or Timing of the Action Will Not Have a Significant Adverse Systemic Impact on the International Payment, Clearance, and Settlement System, or On Legitimate Business Activities of the Two Banks

Private banks, such as Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank, are not permitted to deal in foreign exchange. All foreign currency transfers into Burma are required to be executed by one of three of Burma's state banks. And, as noted previously, it is unlikely that Mayflower Bank or Asia Wealth Bank can conduct any legitimate banking operations at this time. Therefore, this action or timing of the action will affect neither the international payment, clearance, and settlement system nor the potential legitimate banking operations of the two banks.

4. The Proposed Action Would Enhance the National Security of the United States and Is Consistent With, and In Furtherance Of, United States Foreign Policy

The imposition of this countermeasure against Mayflower Bank, Asia Wealth Bank, and Burma is part of an overall foreign policy strategy to enhance our national security through comprehensive economic and political sanctions against Burma.

III. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Comments

FinCEN published a notice of proposed rulemaking on November 25, 2003,[10] that would impose special measures against Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank. The comment period for that notice closed on December 26, 2003. FinCEN received no comment letters on the proposed rule. The final rule is identical to that found in the November 2003 notice.

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IV. Section-by-Section Analysis

A. Overview

This final rule is intended to deny Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank access to the U.S. financial system through correspondent accounts, which includes payable-through accounts. The rule prohibits certain U.S. financial institutions from establishing, maintaining, administering, or managing correspondent accounts in the United States for, or on behalf of, Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank. If a U.S. financial institution covered by this rulemaking learns that a correspondent account that it maintains for a foreign bank is being used by that foreign bank to provide services indirectly to Mayflower Bank or Asia Wealth Bank, the U.S. institution must ensure that the account no longer is used to provide such services, including, where necessary, terminating the correspondent relationship. As explained below, however, the rule does not itself require U.S. financial institutions to perform additional due diligence on foreign bank customers.

B. Definitions

Correspondent account. Section 103.187(a)(1) of the rule's definition of correspondent account is the definition contained in 31 CFR 103.175(d), which defines the term to mean an account established to receive deposits from, or make payments on behalf of, a foreign bank, or handle other financial transactions related to the foreign bank.

In the case of a U.S. depository institution, this broad definition would include most types of banking relationships between a U.S. depository institution and a foreign bank, including payable-through accounts.

In the case of securities broker-dealers, futures commission merchants and introducing brokers, and mutual funds, a correspondent account would include any account that permits the foreign bank to engage in (1) Trading in securities and commodity futures or options, (2) funds transfers, or (3) other types of financial transactions.

FinCEN is using the same definition for purposes of the final rule as that established in the final rule implementing Sections 313 and 319(b) of the Act [11] with the notable exception that the term also applies to such accounts maintained by futures commission merchants and introducing brokers, and mutual funds.

Covered financial institution. Section 103.187(a)(2) of the final rule defines covered financial institution to mean all of the following: Any insured bank (as defined in section 3(h) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(h)); a commercial bank or trust company; a private banker; an agency or branch of a foreign bank in the United States; a credit union; a thrift institution; a corporation acting under section 25A of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 611 et seq.); a broker or dealer registered or required to register with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.); a futures commission merchant or an introducing broker registered, or required to register, with the CFTC under the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.); and an investment company (as defined in section 3 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-3)) that is an open-end company (as defined in section 5 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-5)) that is registered, or required to register, with the SEC pursuant to that Act.

Myanmar Mayflower Bank. Section 103.187(a)(3) of the final rule defines Myanmar Mayflower Bank to include all headquarters, branches, and offices operating in Burma or in any jurisdiction. This definition does not include subsidiaries.

Asia Wealth Bank. Section 103.187(a)(4) of the final rule defines Asia Wealth Bank to include all headquarters, branches, and offices operating in Burma or in any jurisdiction. Similarly, this definition does not include subsidiaries.

C. Requirements for Covered Financial Institutions

1. Prohibition on Correspondent Accounts

Section 103.187(b)(1) of the rule prohibits all covered financial institutions from establishing, maintaining, administering, or managing a correspondent or payable-through account in the United States for, or on behalf of, Mayflower Bank or Asia Wealth Bank. The prohibition requires all covered financial institutions to review their account records to determine that they maintain no accounts directly for, or on behalf of, either bank.

2. Prohibition on Indirect Correspondent Accounts

Under § 103.187(b)(2) of the rule, if a covered financial institution obtains knowledge that a correspondent or payable-through account that it maintains for a foreign bank is being used by that foreign bank to provide services indirectly to Mayflower Bank or Asia Wealth Bank, the U.S. institution must ensure that the account no longer is used to provide such services, including, where necessary, terminating the correspondent relationship. In contrast to the obligation placed on covered financial institutions to identify correspondent accounts maintained directly for, or on behalf of, a Burmese financial institution in § 103.187(b)(1), this section does not itself impose an independent obligation on covered financial institutions to review or investigate correspondent accounts they maintain for foreign banks to ascertain whether such foreign banks are using the account to provide services to Mayflower Bank or Asia Wealth Bank. Instead, if covered financial institutions become aware, through due diligence that is otherwise appropriate or required under existing anti-money laundering obligations, that a foreign bank is using its correspondent account to provide banking services indirectly to Mayflower Bank or Asia Wealth Bank, then the covered financial institutions must ensure that the account is no longer used for such purposes. This reflects the approach taken in the proposed rulemaking imposing special measures against Nauru.[12]

Additionally, when a covered financial institution becomes aware that a foreign bank customer is using a correspondent account to provide services to either of the two designated banks indirectly, the covered financial institution may afford that foreign bank customer a reasonable opportunity to take corrective action prior to terminating the U.S. correspondent account. Should the foreign bank customer refuse to comply, or if the covered financial institution cannot obtain adequate assurances that the account will no longer be used for impermissible purposes, the covered financial institution must terminate the account in accordance with this regulation. FinCEN has also incorporated the requirement of termination within a reasonable period of time and the reinstatement of a terminated correspondent account found in the final regulation implementing sections 313 and 319(b) of the Act.[13]

3. Reporting and Recordkeeping Not Required

Section 103.187(b)(3) of the rule states that it does not impose any reporting or recordkeeping requirement upon any Start Printed Page 19103covered financial institution that is not otherwise required by applicable law or regulation.

V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

It is hereby certified that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As explained above, financial institutions covered by this rulemaking are already prohibited under existing sanctions from maintaining correspondent accounts for Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank. Given the limitations placed by the Burmese government on the international activities of these banks, FinCEN believes that few foreign correspondent bank customers of small U.S. financial institutions covered by the rulemaking will themselves maintain correspondent accounts for Mayflower Bank or Asia Wealth Bank.

VI. Executive Order 12866

This rule is not a significant regulatory action for purposes of Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review.”

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List of Subjects in 31 CFR Part 103

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Authority and Issuance

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For the reasons set forth in the preamble,

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PART 103—FINANCIAL RECORDKEEPING AND REPORTING OF CURRENCY AND FOREIGN TRANSACTIONS

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1. The authority citation for part 103 is revised to read as follows:

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Authority: 12 U.S.C. 1829b and 1951-1959; 31 U.S.C. 5311-5314, 5316-5332; title III, sec. 311, 312, 313, 314, 319, 326, 352, Pub. L. 107-56, 115 Stat. 307; 12 U.S.C. 1818; 12 U.S.C. 1786(q).

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2. Subpart I of part 103 is amended by adding § 103.187 under the undesignated centerheading “SPECIAL DUE DILIGENCE FOR CORRESPONDENT ACCOUNTS AND PRIVATE BANKING ACCOUNTS” to read as follows:

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Special measures against Myanmar Mayflower Bank and Asia Wealth Bank.

(a) Definitions. For purposes of this section:

(1) Correspondent account has the same meaning as provided in § 103.175(d).

(2) Covered financial institution has the same meaning as provided in § 103.175(f)(2) and also includes the following:

(i) A futures commission merchant or an introducing broker registered, or required to register, with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.); and

(ii) An investment company (as defined in section 3 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-5)) that is an open-end company (as defined in section 5 of the Investment Company Act (15 U.S.C. 80a-5)) and that is registered, or required to register, with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to that Act.

(3) Myanmar Mayflower Bank means all headquarters, branches, and offices of Myanmar Mayflower Bank operating in Burma or in any jurisdiction.

(4) Asia Wealth Bank means all headquarters, branches, and offices of Asia Wealth Bank operating in Burma or in any jurisdiction.

(b) Requirements for covered financial institutions—(1) Prohibition on correspondent accounts. A covered financial institution shall terminate any correspondent account that is established, maintained, administered, or managed in the United States for, or on behalf of, Myanmar Mayflower Bank or Asia Wealth Bank.

(2) Prohibition on indirect correspondent accounts. (i) If a covered financial institution has or obtains knowledge that a correspondent account established, maintained, administered, or managed by that covered financial institution in the United States for a foreign bank is being used by the foreign bank to provide banking services indirectly to Myanmar Mayflower Bank or Asia Wealth Bank, the covered financial institution shall ensure that the correspondent account is no longer used to provide such services, including, where necessary, terminating the correspondent account; and

(ii) A covered financial institution required to terminate an account pursuant to paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section:

(A) Shall do so within a commercially reasonable time, and shall not permit the foreign bank to establish any new positions or execute any transactions through such account, other than those necessary to close the account; and

(B) May reestablish an account closed pursuant to this paragraph if it determines that the account will not be used to provide banking services indirectly to Myanmar Mayflower Bank or Asia Wealth Bank.

(3) Reporting and recordkeeping not required. Nothing in this section shall require a covered financial institution to maintain any records, obtain any certification, or to report any information not otherwise required by law or regulation.

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Dated: April 2, 2004.

William J. Fox,

Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

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Footnotes

1.  Available special measures include requiring: (1) Recordkeeping and reporting of certain financial transactions; (2) collection of information relating to beneficial ownership; (3) collection of information relating to certain payable-through accounts; (4) collection of information relating to certain correspondent accounts; and (5) prohibition or conditions on the opening or maintaining of correspondent or payable-through accounts. 31 U.S.C. 5318A(b)(1)-(5). For a complete discussion of the range of possible countermeasures, see 68 FR 18917 (April 17, 2003) (proposing to impose special measures against Nauru).

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2.  Section 5318A(a)(4)(A) requires the Secretary to consult with the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, any other appropriate Federal banking agency, the Secretary of State, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and, in the sole discretion of the Secretary, “such other agencies and interested parties as the Secretary may find to be appropriate.” The consultation process must also include the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, if the Secretary is considering prohibiting or imposing conditions on domestic financial institutions maintaining correspondent account relationships with the designated entity.

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3.  For further information on the FATF go to www.fatf-gafi.org.

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4.  The 2003 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, released by the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State, was issued March 1, 2004. Part II of the report covers money laundering and financial crimes. The portion of the report dealing with Burma can be found at http://www.state.gov/​g/​inl/​rls/​nrcrpt/​2003/​vol2/​html/​29920.htm.

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5.  See Official Myanmar Finance Ministry Web site, www.Myanmar.com.

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6.  See Xinhua News Agency, March 8, 2002.

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8.  For example, the prohibition does not extend to transactions relating to certain contracts entered into prior to May 21, 1997. See Executive Order 13310, section 13.

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9.  For purposes of this action, the required consultation with the Federal functional regulators was performed at the staff level.

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10.  68 FR 66305 (November 25, 2003).

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11.  67 FR 60562 (September 26, 2002), codified at 31 CFR 103.175 (d)(1).

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12.  See 68 FR 18917 (April 17, 2003).

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13.  67 FR 60562 (September 26, 2002) (codified at 31 CFR 103.177).

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[FR Doc. 04-8026 Filed 4-9-04; 8:45 am]

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