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Alex draws on her experience as a former FDIC executive and comprehensive knowledge of bank regulations to advise a wide array of banks and technology companies. She is a sought-after advisor on complex supervisory, regulatory, payments, and transactional issues.

On June 28, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced a proposed rule aimed at strengthening and modernizing financial institutions’ anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) programs. The Treasury’s priority is to promote a more effective risk-based regulatory regime that directs financial institutions to focus their AML/CFT programs on the highest priority threats.

On June 24, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced it is requesting comments on proposed amendments to its recovery planning guidelines. A recovery plan’s purpose is to provide a covered bank with a framework to effectively and efficiently address the financial effects of severe stress events and avoid failure or resolution. Among other things, the proposed amendments aim to expand the guidelines to apply to banks with average total consolidated assets between $100 billion and $250 billion. The proposal also seeks to incorporate a testing standard and clarify the role of non-financial risks in recovery planning.

On May 30, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided Cantero, reaffirming and elaborating on the Barnett Bank preemption standard, and remanding the case to the Second Circuit for further proceedings. Cantero addressed whether a New York law requiring the payment of at least 2% per annum interest on mortgage escrow deposits was preempted by federal law as to national banks. The Supreme Court held that the Second Circuit erred when it failed to apply the preemption standard articulated in Barnett Bank of Marion County, N.A. v. Nelson, which was incorporated by Congress into the Dodd-Frank Act. The Court rejected the lower court’s holding “that federal law preempts any state law that ‘purports to exercise control over a federally granted banking power,’ regardless of ‘the magnitude of its effects.’” The Court also rejected the approach argued by the petitioners, explaining it would “yank the preemption standard to the opposite extreme, and would preempt virtually no non-discriminatory state laws that apply to both state and national banks.”

On May 3, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (collectively, the agencies) released a guidebook aimed at assisting community banks in managing risks associated with third-party relationships (the TPRM Guide). The TPRM Guide builds upon the principles introduced in the third-party risk management guidance for banking organizations issued by the agencies in June 2023 (the June 2023 Guidance, discussed here) as well as the agencies’ community bank guide for conducting due diligence on fintech companies from October 2023 (discussed here) but does not displace or substitute that prior guidance.