Guidance on Accepting Accounts from Foreign Embassies, Consulates and Missions (foreign missions)

April 21, 2011

An Interagency1 Advisory has been issued to supplement SR letter 04-10, “Banking Accounts for Foreign Governments, Embassies, and Political Figures.” The supplemental advisory provides information to financial institutions regarding the provision of account services to foreign missions in a manner that fulfills the needs of those foreign governments while complying with the provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). It advises that financial institutions are expected to demonstrate the capacity to conduct appropriate risk assessments and implement the requisite controls and oversight systems to effectively manage the risk identified in these relationships with foreign missions. The advisory also confirms that it is the financial institution’s decision to accept or reject a foreign mission account.