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Beginning in January 2014, The Bank Board Letter, one of the nation's premier newsletters for directors of financial institutions and their holding companies, will be available in print and digital editions.
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FDIC Announces Supervisory Approach to Payment Processing Relationships With Merchant Customers That Engage in Higher-Risk Activities
Sept 30 - The FDIC is clarifying its policy and supervisory approach related to facilitating payment processing services directly, or indirectly through a third party, for merchant customers engaged in higher-risk activities. Facilitating payment processing for merchant customers engaged in higher-risk activities can pose risks to financial institutions; however, those that properly manage these relationships and risks are neither prohibited nor discouraged from providing payment processing services to customers operating in compliance with applicable law.
- Financial institutions that provide payment processing services directly or indirectly for merchant customers engaged in higher-risk activities are expected to perform proper risk assessments, conduct due diligence to determine merchant customers are operating in accordance with applicable law, and maintain systems to monitor relationships over time.
- Proper management of relationships with merchant customers engaged in higher-risk activities is essential. Financial institutions need to assure themselves that they are not facilitating fraudulent or other illegal activity. Institutions could be exposed to financial or legal risk should the legality of activities be challenged.
- FDIC's examination focus is on assessing whether financial institutions are adequately overseeing activities and transactions they process and appropriately managing and mitigating risks. Financial institutions that have appropriate systems and controls will not be criticized for providing payment processing services to businesses operating in compliance with applicable law.
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