Building Relationships Beyond Brokerage
In 2012, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued a ruling that requires non-bank residential mortgage lenders and originators to establish an Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) program and to file suspicious activity reports (“SARs”) under the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”). In addition, and for further clarification, non-banks and mortgage brokers (regardless of size) have been required to comply with the AML and SAR requirements of the BSA.
In response to this ruling, Ocean Mortgage Capital, Inc. (“OMC”) developed and implemented an anti-money laundering program upon the company’s formation in 2012, which was designed to ensure OMC abides by the AML requirements of the BSA and to prevent OMC from being used by clients to facilitate money laundering or for the financing of terrorist activities.
OMC’s AML program includes the following:
Any dollars received by OMC from clients and/or consultants that are held for safekeeping will promptly be either delivered to an attorney or escrow company, or deposited into a federally insured financial institution.
Background checks will be conducted by OMC via credit reports, historic articles, press releases, and internet searches on all prospective clients before any new business is conducted. This is a testament to OMC’s commitment to “Knowing Your Client” or “KYC”.
OMC’s procedures and internal controls will be continually evaluated and be based upon OMC’s assessment of the money laundering and terrorist financing risks, if any, associated with its offered services.
OMC has designated its Vice President as Compliance Officer.
Should employees and/or independent consultants be engaged by OMC, OMC will provide for on-going training of appropriate persons concerning their responsibilities under OMC’s AML Policy.
Each year, if deemed appropriate by OMC’s President and/or Compliance Officer based upon the level of associated risk identified within the OMC organization and files, OMC will conduct independent testing to monitor and ensure an adequate testing system is maintained under this program, and that OMC’s AML Policy is updated from time to time as may be necessary.
OMC’s President and Compliance Officer are committed to staying abreast of any and all new AML and SAR trends that develop in the industry by paying close attention to current events through OMC’s membership in the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals, the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, and through industry subscriptions, seminars and webinars on the subject.
Whenever appropriate, OMC will make contact as may be necessary with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) at www.consumerfinance.gov, the Florida Attorney General’s Office, and/or the FBI.
In addition, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury will be contacted whenever necessary to determine whether an OMC client is on a list of targeted terrorists and those engaged in activities that are threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States. Contact particulars of OFAC are as follows:
Office of Foreign Assets Control
U.S. Department of the Treasury, Treasury Annex
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220
Toll Free Hotline: (800) 540-6322
Local Hotline: (202) 622-2490
OFAC Licensing Division (Direct): (202) 622-2480
Suspicious Activity Reports
OMC will report any and all suspicious activity, including but not limited to, fraudulent attempts to obtain a mortgage or launder money by use of the proceeds of other crimes to purchase residential real estate.
A SAR will therefore be prepared by OMC’s President or Compliance Officer if, in the course of completing a transaction, OMC knows, suspects, or has reason to suspect that the transaction (or a pattern of transactions of which the transaction is a part):
Involves funds derived from illegal activity or is intended or conducted to hide or disguise funds or assets derived from illegal activity,
Is designed, whether through structuring or other means, to evade the requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act,
Has no business or apparent lawful purpose, and OMC knows of no reasonable explanation for the transaction after examining the available facts, or
Involves the use of OMC to facilitate criminal activity.
Within 30 days after OMC becomes aware of a suspicious transaction, OMC will report the transaction, by completing a SAR and filing it with FinCEN. A SAR and information that would reveal the existence of that SAR will be kept confidential and not be disclosed except as authorized for OMC to fulfill official duties.
A copy of any SAR filed by OMC, and any supporting documentation concerning any SAR, will be maintained by OMC for a period of five (5) years from the date of filing the SAR.
Additional BSA Requirements Adhered to by OMC
1) OMC performs an annual risk assessment (or sooner if circumstances dictate). The risk assessment determines factors such as the AML vulnerabilities of OMC’s services, the AML risks associated with the geographies in which it operates, and the AML risks of the customers with which it deals. [31 Code of Federal Regulations 1029.210(b)(1)]
2) All employees of OMC receive training in AML compliance immediately upon commencement of their employment and annually thereafter. Evidence of such training and the training materials are maintained by OMC and are available upon request. [31 CFR 1029.210(b)(3)]
3) OMC’s AML Policy is tested by its Compliance Officer on an as needed basis when/if applicable. Although OMC does not collect funds from clients for safekeeping, OMC evaluates its AML Policy in any event on an annual basis. [31 CFR 1029.210(b)(4)]
Copyright © 2012 Ocean Mortgage Capital, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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