READOUT: Under Secretary Brian Nelson’s Visit to Japan

TOKYO — On June 29 – July 1, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson traveled to Tokyo, Japan to continue coordination with the close partner and ally on sanctions imposed on Russia for its war against Ukraine. They spoke extensively about the G7 leaders’ commitment toexplore a price cap to restrict the revenue generated from Russian oil to fund Putin’s war.

While in Tokyo, Under Secretary Nelson met with Finance Vice Minister Masato Kanda to discuss the design and implementation of the price cap proposal as well as other regional economic and security issues. The Under Secretary also met with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Masataka Okano, Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry Director-General Yoichi Iida, Cabinet Councillor Toshio Oya, and Financial Services Agency Deputy Director-General Toshiyuki Miyoshi. Finally, Under Secretary Nelson convened private sector actors to discuss the continued implementation and enforcement of U.S. and international sanctions.

Following Under Secretary Nelson’s trip, Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen will travel to Tokyo on July 12 and 13. During this visit, the Secretary will continue close coordination on limiting the price of Russian oil. She will also discuss building stronger and more resilient supply chains to help lower prices for American and global consumers, including by friend-shoring with trusted economic partners like Japan, and advancing economic cooperation in critical technology sectors that will support U.S. manufacturing jobs and technological innovation.

READOUT: Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen’s Call with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Korea Choo Kyung-ho

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Korea, Choo Kyung-ho, spoke today on issues of economic cooperation and national security. Secretary Yellen congratulated Deputy Prime Minister Choo on his appointment and pledged continued cooperation between the two ministries. The two also discussed areas of cooperation such as holding Russia accountable for its war against Ukraine and the merits of a price cap on Russian oil to restrict revenue to the Kremlin that finances their unjust and illegal actions.

Joint Statement on the U.S.-UK Financial Innovation Partnership Meeting 29th June 2022

LONDON – U.S. and U.K. participants in the U.S.-UK Financial Innovation Partnership (FIP) met in London on Wednesday 29th June for a Regulatory Pillar meeting.  In this third meeting of the Regulatory Pillar of the FIP, participants gathered to exchange views on topics of mutual interest in the U.S. and UK regarding crypto and digital asset ecosystems and to deepen ties between U.S. and UK financial authorities on financial innovation.

Her Majesty’s Treasury hosted the Regulatory Pillar of the FIP with the U.S. Department of the Treasury on 29th June 2022. UK participants included staff from the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority. U.S. participants included staff from independent regulatory agencies, including: the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Participants exchanged views on crypto-asset regulation and market developments, including recent developments in relation to stablecoins and the exploration of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

Both sides discussed recent market developments on digital assets, including stablecoins and exchanged updates on regulatory approaches in their jurisdictions. The United States and UK are committed to continuing to cooperate to support safe innovation and strengthening regulatory outcomes for stablecoins across jurisdictions.  Recent events highlight the key role of stablecoins and crypto-asset trading and lending platforms in the digital asset ecosystem, the variance in their governance and operations, and the need for robust cross-border regulatory cooperation. UK and U.S. participants also considered future opportunities for further discussion on broader crypto-asset regulatory initiatives and considerations as their respective policy and regulatory agendas progress. UK and U.S. authorities also provided updates on their approaches to CBDCs, exchanging views on their respective plans for CBDC policy research and technology exploration.

Participants also noted the importance of continued cooperation on crypto and digital assets in international fora, including the G7 Digital Payments Expert Group, the Financial Stability Board Crypto Assets Working Group and Regulatory Issues of Stablecoins Working Group, the work pursuant to the G20 Roadmap for enhancing cross-border payments, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, the group of central banks and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) working together on CBDCs, and the International Organization of Securities Commissions’ FinTech Task Force.

Participants intend to continue to engage on these topics, as well as other financial innovation topics of mutual interest, in support of the next U.S.-UK Financial Regulatory Working Group (FRWG) meeting, due to be held in July this year.

Participants recognised the continued importance of the ongoing partnership on global financial innovation as an integral component of U.S.-UK financial services cooperation. The FIP was inaugurated in 2019 at the FRWG as a means of boosting U.S.-UK engagement in financial innovation issues. The first meeting of the FIP took place in August 2020, and participants met most recently in June 2021.

OCC Hosts Compliance and Operational Risk Workshops in St. Louis

News Release 2022-78 | June 30, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) will host two workshops July 26-27 in St. Louis for directors of community banks and federal savings associations supervised by the OCC. 

The Compliance Risk: What Directors Need to Know workshop on July 26 is focused on the critical elements of an effective compliance risk management program. The workshop also emphasizes major compliance risks and critical regulations. Topics of discussion include the Bank Secrecy Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and other compliance hot topics.

The Operational Risk: Navigating Rapid Changes workshop on July 27 covers key risk management processes, oversight roles and governance responsibilities, fraud, risk-based audit programs, and cyber threats.

The workshop fee is $99 and limited to the first 35 registrants. Participants receive course materials, supervisory materials, and lunch.

To register online, and view the schedule and locations of other workshops, visit the OCC’s website. For additional questions about the workshops, please contact the OCC Bank Director Workshop Team at (202) 649-6490 or [email protected].

Media Contact

Brian Walch
(202) 649-6870

Statement by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen on World Bank Approval of Pandemic Prevention Fund

WASHINGTON — Today, the World Bank Executive Board approved a new Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response.  This important financing vehicle will provide dedicated funding to close gaps in pandemic preparedness that have been brought into stark relief by our collective experiences during the COVID pandemic.

“The approval of a pandemic prevention fund by the World Bank is a major achievement that will help low- and middle-income countries be better prepared for the next pandemic.  Even as we continue to work to end COVID-19, today’s decision by World Bank shareholders will help bolster capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to future pandemics, thereby strengthening health security around the globe, including here in the United States,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen.  “President Biden and Vice President Harris called for establishing a fund in September 2021 at the President’s First Global COVID-19 Summit—a call I have reiterated with counterparts around the world.  The United States has pledged $450 million in support of this fund, and I thank the European Commission, Indonesia, Germany, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, along with private donors, for joining as founding supporters and pledging a total of more than $1 billion to date.  I encourage other countries to join us in financing this critical fund to prevent the devastating human and economic costs of future pandemics.”

Closing the global gap in financing for pandemic preparedness has been a top priority during the Indonesian and Italian G20 Presidencies, and support for the FIF has grown as countries seek to break the cycle of panic and neglect that has characterized recent pandemics.  Secretary Yellen—in partnership with her counterparts from across the G20—has advocated for a financing mechanism to address pandemic preparedness shortfalls in meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World BankG20 and G7, and with the World Health Organization (WHO).  In a joint op-ed with WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Secretary Yellen reinforced the call for a Financial Intermediary Fund to prepare for and prevent future pandemics.  In the coming weeks, the United States will continue working with other donors, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and international health partners to make sure the FIF is operational by fall 2022.

 

 

 

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READOUT: Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo’s Roundtable with Homeowner Assistance Fund Servicers

WASHINGTON – Today, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo and Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Adrianne Todman convened a roundtable with mortgage servicers to discuss best practices for coordinating with state-run programs funded by the American Rescue Plan’s Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). HAF provides close to $10 billion in financial support to help families weather financial hardship and remain in their homes. This is a critical source of support for struggling homeowners around the country as the economic impact of COVID-19 put millions of homeowners at risk of losing their homes.

Today’s gathering is the latest effort by the Biden-Harris Administration to ensure HAF funds are reaching the most at-risk homeowners. Last month, the Secretaries of the Treasury, HUD, Veterans Affairs, and Agriculture sent a letter to mortgage servicers of federally backed mortgages calling on them to make every effort to ensure no individual or family experiences unnecessary hardship or foreclosure while assistance is available under HAF. This builds on HUD’s actions to provide a wide variety of loss mitigation options for homeowners who receive FHA insurance and underscores the Administration’s continued commitment to coordinate among housing finance agencies, mortgage servicers, and borrowers to help homeowners keep their homes. In the roundtable conversation, mortgage servicers shared how they are working with states, territories, Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities that are administering HAF programs to achieve this goal.

Roundtable participants discussed opportunities to ensure coordination between servicers and HAF programs to benefit homeowners such as identifying strategies to enhance communications and streamline processes so that programs can better serve HAF applicants. Facilitating communication between HAF programs and mortgage servicers to prioritize homeowners with immediate threats to housing stability can ensure that households do not unnecessarily face hardship or foreclosure. This is especially relevant as HAF programs across the country are working alongside other Administration relief efforts to deliver assistance to homeowners as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Roundtable participants included:

  • American Bankers Association
  • Freedom Mortgage
  • Gateway Bank
  • Housing Policy Council
  • MidFirst Bank
  • PHH Mortgage
  • Rocket Mortgage
  • Traditions Bank
  • S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo

 

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READOUT: Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen’s Meeting with the Retail Industry Leaders Association

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen met today with CEOs representing member companies of the Retail Industry Leaders Association to discuss the state of the American economy, including the rapid recovery and strategies to combat inflation.

Secretary Yellen highlighted the strength of the economy in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, including the strongest labor market of the post-war period. She also reiterated the Administration’s commitment to addressing the impact of global economic challenges brought upon by Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, including high energy prices. She noted that the Russian economy is staggering under the weight of financial and trade sanctions and the cutoff of business by many US and international companies.

The Secretary emphasized that fighting inflation is President Biden’s number one economic priority and noted new data showing that core inflation is easing. She stressed the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to using every tool at its disposal to lower prices. Secretary Yellen detailed efforts to reduce supply chain bottlenecks and proposals in Congress to lower costs for American families, including by passing the Bipartisan Innovation Act, which would address chip shortages, and enacting into law President Biden’s plans to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

 

READOUT: Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen’s Meeting with the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, the OCC, FDIC and CFPB on Stablecoins

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen convened principals representing the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, in addition to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, today to discuss stablecoin risks and how legislation could contribute to the existing regulatory framework.

The participants discussed developments since the President’s Working Group, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation released the Report on Stablecoins. The Secretary commended the steps that individual agencies have taken within the scope of their mandates and authorities. Secretary Yellen emphasized how recent events have underscored the urgent need to ensure that stablecoin arrangements are subject to a federal framework on a consistent and comprehensive basis.

Secretary Yellen highlighted the need to continue to constructively engage in serious legislative efforts to promptly put in place a regulatory framework for stablecoins that would address current and future risks, such as those related to runs, safety and soundness, consumer protection, the payment system and the concentration of economic power, while complementing existing authorities with respect to market integrity, investor protection, and illicit finance.

READOUT: Under Secretary Brian Nelson’s Visit to the Republic of Korea

SEOUL — From June 27-29, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson visited Seoul, Republic of Korea to continue close coordination with the ROK government on countering aggression by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and sanctions imposed on Russia for its war against Ukraine. In recent months, Treasury has targeted the DPRK’s revenue generating activities, including imposing sanctions on financial facilitators, procurement networks, and a mixer used to launder the proceeds of virtual currency theft. In addition, Treasury has worked closely with counterparts in ROK to impose historic sanctions on Russia, including denying it access to critical technologies for the defense industry. 

While in Seoul, Under Secretary Nelson met with senior government officials, including Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Kim Gunn, Vice Minister of Unification Kim Ki Woong, Financial Services Commission Vice Chairman Kim So-Young, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Affairs Yun Seong-deok, and Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance Park Il-Young. He also met with fintech firms in Pangyo to discuss AML/CFT compliance and Korea’s regulatory sandbox.

Following Under Secretary Nelson’s trip, Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen will travel to Seoul on July 19 and 20. During this visit, the Secretary will discuss building stronger and more resilient supply chains to help lower prices for American and global consumers, including by friend-shipping with trusted economic partners like the ROK. Secretary Yellen will also discuss ways to further impose costs on Russia for its unprovoked invasion and continue her work coordinating the global response to address the war’s consequences, including higher energy prices and food insecurity. 
 

U.S. Treasury Blocks Over $1 Billion in Suleiman Kerimov Trust

Enforcement investigation unearthed oligarch’s use of a network of relatives, advisers, and opaque legal entities to invest in the United States

 

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced it has issued a Notification of Blocked Property to Heritage Trust, a Delaware-based trust in which OFAC-designated Russian oligarch Suleiman Abusaidovich Kerimov holds a property interest. As of June 30, 2022, Heritage Trust holds assets valued at over $1 billion. This action ensures that those assets remain blocked and inaccessible to Kerimov.  

OFAC’s Notification of Blocked Property formally communicates to Heritage Trust OFAC’s administrative determination that Heritage Trust is subject to the same prohibitions applicable to Kerimov. All transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons are prohibited, unless exempt or authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC. These prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person and the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.  

Heritage Trust was formed in July 2017 for the purpose of holding and managing Kerimov’s U.S.-based assets. Kerimov is a member of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and was designated on April 6, 2018, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13661, for being an official of the Government of the Russian Federation. Kerimov has retained a property interest in Heritage Trust following his designation, which results in Heritage Trust being blocked.

Additionally, Kerimov’s nephew, Ruslan Gadzhiyevich Gadzhiyev, is a member of the designated State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and Gadzhiyev was designated on March 24, 2022 pursuant to E.O. 14024 for being or having been a leader, official, senior executive officer, or member of the board of directors of the Government of the Russian Federation. Gazhiyev is a beneficiary of Heritage Trust, and his continuing property interest in Heritage Trust provides a separate and independent basis for Heritage Trust to be blocked.

“Treasury continues using the full range of our tools to expose and disrupt those who seek to evade our sanctions and hide their ill-gotten gains,” said Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen. “Even as Russian elites hide behind proxies and complex legal arrangements, Treasury will use our broad enforcement authorities, as well as our partnerships through the REPO Task Force, to actively implement the multilaterally coordinated sanctions imposed on those who fund and benefit from Russia’s war against Ukraine.”  

This action follows an extensive enforcement investigation into Kerimov’s U.S. holdings by OFAC. These efforts revealed that Kerimov used a complex series of legal structures and front persons to obscure his interest in Heritage Trust, the funds of which first entered the U.S. financial system through two foreign Kerimov-controlled entities prior to the imposition of sanctions against him. The funds were subsequently invested in large public and private U.S. companies and managed by a series of U.S. investment firms and facilitators. Kerimov and his proxies used various layers of U.S. and non-U.S. shell companies to hold formal title to assets and to conduct transactions in a manner that concealed his interest.

 

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