Alessa issues new webinar on how financial institutions can improve OFAC compliance

Compliance with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions is a major challenge for financial institutions, but how can they be certain they meet the necessary requirements.

Alessa has released a new webinar hoping to provide clarity on the topic. OFAC Compliance: A Deep Dive looks to answer how a sanctions compliance program should be structured, screening practices, what to do if you have an OFAC match, how to comply with the 50% rule and how to use enforcement actions to evaluate practices.

The webinar was presented by Laurie Kelly, the former director of compliance at CoBank.

OFAC, which is part of the US Department of Treasury, issues economic sanctions, which financial institutions must comply with. A firm’s compliance program, which Kelly states looks an awful lot like an AML program but without due diligence. The pillars of the OFAC program are training, management commitment, risk assessment, internal controls and independent review.

It is crucial to ensure a strong program is implemented within an organisation as there are many ways OFAC compliance can impact operations. Kelly said, “To me, OFAC is the epitome of what we like to call risk-based compliance. This is because every single entity is going to have it’s own unique level of risk of having dealings with sanctions parties or countries. I cannot stress how important it is to have a thorough written OFAC risk assessment that is reviewed and updated regularly.”

Some of the categories that are impacted by OFAC are customers, payments, foreign correspondent banks, other financial services, vendors and employees.

This is just the surface and there are a lot more granular issues financial institutions need to be aware of.

Watch the webinar here to get an in-depth look at OFAC and how to comply.

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