Austin, Texas, December 9, 2019 – Recent U.S. regulatory moves that could make it easier for banks and credit unions to provide services to hemp producers could have more financial institutions weeding through the requirements for banking cannabis-related businesses. Abrigo, the leading technology provider of compliance, credit risk, and lending solutions for community financial institutions, today unveiled free resources to help BSA/AML professionals stay on top of the ongoing developments related to banking cannabis- and marijuana-related businesses (CRBs/MRBs).
On Thursday, Dec. 12, Abrigo is hosting a webinar, “Starting 2020 on a High Note: Cannabis-Related Banking Explained,” to tackle the current state of cannabis laws, common CRB banking errors and how to avoid them, and other best practices to successfully bank these customers. Attendees will hear about the Dec. 3 guidance from federal and state banking regulators and FinCEN clarifying BSA requirements for providing banking services to hemp-related businesses, as well as updates on other recent legislative and regulatory developments that will shape financial service providers’ decisions and operations. Webinar attendees will also have the opportunity to submit their CRB questions, and the experts will address the user-submitted questions during the webinar.
Abrigo also has whitepapers, other on-demand webinars, and articles to help financial institutions and BSA/AML professionals stay on top of the ever-changing cannabis-related business environment. Congress legalized hemp as a crop in 2018, and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture on Oct. 31 released an interim final rule outlining a regulatory framework for monitoring hemp production. The Dec. 3 guidance from banking regulators said, among other things, that banks no longer have to file suspicious activity reports (SARs) on customers solely because they are engaged in the hemp industry.
Regardless of whether they plan to provide banking services to CRBs, it is critical that financial institutions understand their state laws, as well as surrounding states’ laws, federal laws, potential changes occurring in legislation and regulations, and how to identify and vet CRBs. Even if an institution decides against banking CRBs, it must actively monitor customers to avoid unknowingly having a CRB hidden within their customer base. This can be a difficult task if the financial institution’s BSA staff is unsure of the criteria to look for. In addition, regardless of a financial institution’s decision to bank or avoid CRBs/MRBs, all institutions must update their policies and procedures to reflect that decision and maintain regulatory compliance. Abrigo’s comprehensive resources and services help financial institutions and BSA departments navigate these challenges and the risks involved with banking CRBs.