Banking compliance departments and CAATSA.

Despite the partial government shutdown and a host of critical challenges facing our nation, the Trump Administration and Congress were preoccupied last week with the question of whether or not sanctions should be lifted on companies that are owned in part by Vladimir Putin confidant Oleg Deripaska.

Now, in the wake of a bipartisan uproar seeking to block Treasury Steven Mnuchin’s ultimately successful efforts to ease sanctions on companies such as EN+ and Rusal, details are beginning to emerge showing that Deripaska will benefit personally from the Treasury Department’s actions. We’ll leave it to others to determine why helping out Russian entities is such a top priority in the Beltway, but we’d point out that the compliance departments of several global banks must now figure out how to differentiate the treatment of the oligarch from the Russian companies relieved of sanctions.

That effort will rely on the latest KYC/AML technology and a careful understanding of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which was passed by the Senate in a 98-2 vote and signed into law by a reluctant President Trump. Below is a helpful overview of CAATSA courtesy of the law firm Steptoe & Johnson.

This article was published as part of Weekly Briefing No. 158