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Financial Institution Letter

Joint Fact Sheet on Bank Secrecy Act Due Diligence Requirements for Charities and Nonprofit Organizations

November 19, 2020  |  FIL-106-2020


The FDIC, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (referred to collectively as the Agencies) are issuing a joint fact sheet to provide clarity on how to apply a risk-based approach to meeting the customer due diligence (CDD) requirements contained in FinCEN’s 2016 CDD Final Rule when providing services to charities and other non-profit organizations (NPOs). This joint fact sheet does not alter existing Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) legal or regulatory requirements, nor does it establish new supervisory expectations.

The joint fact sheet is available on the FDIC’s public website.

Statement of Applicability to Institutions: This Financial Institution Letter (FIL) applies to FDIC-supervised banks and savings associations.


  • The Agencies recognize that it is vital for legitimate charities and other nonprofit organizations to have access to financial services, including the ability to transmit funds.
  • The Agencies also recognize the vast majority of charities and other nonprofit organizations comply with the law and properly support charitable and humanitarian causes.
  • The Agencies remind banks that the U.S. government does not view the charitable sector as a whole as presenting a uniform or unacceptably high risk of being used or exploited for money laundering, terrorist financing, or sanctions violations.
  • Financial institutions must apply a risk-based approach to CDD in developing the risk profiles of their customers, including charities and nonprofit organizations, and are required to establish and maintain written procedures reasonably designed to identify and verify beneficial owners of legal entity customers, as applicable. There is no requirement in the CDD rule, nor is there a supervisory expectation, for financial institutions to have unique, additional due diligence steps for customers that are charities or other nonprofit organizations.
  • Financial institutions that operate in compliance with applicable laws, properly manage customer relationships, and effectively mitigate risks by implementing controls commensurate with those risks are neither prohibited nor discouraged from providing banking services to charities and other nonprofit organizations.


FDIC-Supervised Institutions

Suggested Routing:

Chief Executive Officer
BSA Compliance Officer

Related Topics:

Statement on Providing Banking Services
Customer Due Diligence and Beneficial Ownership Examination Procedures