As US Blacklists Grow, Banks Conduct In-Depth Sanctions Audits to Avoid Greater Costs

By Brian Monroe

After a busy year for federal sanctions officials, large banks with international footprints are increasingly instituting deeper, standalone audits of their related policies and procedures, say compliance officers and consultants. Banks are doing the separate reviews in response to the growth of economic sanctions regimes, a jump in the number of entities blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and increasingly aggressive enforcement by federal and state regulators-all of which has been noted by financial institutions over the past year, they say. The OFAC compliance program, including audits, has "taken on a life of its...