How could the Iran-nuclear deal affect your compliance department?

Flag of Iran

Assuming your bank performs transactions for people with international connections, Americans are barred from doing most types of transactions with Iran interests because of the economic sanctions. There are several sets of economic sanctions on Iran and only the the set that were implemented because of the nuclear activity were lifted. Practically, very little has changed for your bank, so, very little has changed for your compliance department.

Even, still, the elation alone is building interest in investment and trade activity with Iran. American entities with subsidiaries in Europe are likely to try to get around these sanction by claiming European sovereign rule. But this only works if the subsidiary can prove that it is not controlled by the American umbrella.

There’s no way to prove this. Just the fact that the subsidiary is a subsidiary and not a joint venture or minority interest deems it American jurisdiction on transactions because the net income is accounted for here in the States.

Minority interest is where things get tricky. If a client is doing business with an entity which has American minority interests and does business with Iran, then that’s territory that requires some legal analysis. The reason for the complication is even though there are many situations where Americans may have minority interests in European entities that will do business with Iran, one of those entities could be a fund that is specifically initiated to do that business. Wealth Americans have access to foreign markets without working through the American markets. It is possible that an American investor can buy into a Iran direct investment fund in London using his British assets. If he is able to do this, then he adds a legal entity layer. He will own a majority interest in an entity that is investing into a fund as a minority investor.

Your department will have to decide whether American jurisdiction applies to ownership of legal entities or if business will benefit the American.


About the Author: Marcus Maltempo is a compliance professional with more than a decade of experience helping banks, law firms and clients manage investigations and regulatory responses.


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Hybrid Securities are debt securities with traits borrowed from equities

Hybrid securities are securities that have features of both debt and equity.

Wall Street 1929
Wall Street 1929

The classic example of a hybrid instrument is a convertible bond. This is, generally, a corporate bond with a condition attached to it. This condition states that if the equity shares of the corporation issuing the bond hits a certain valuation in the market, the bondholder will be allowed to exchange the bond for a certain number of shares. The number of shares is determined by the bond’s principal value, which is almost always $1000, and how many shares that principal could buy. For a buyer of bonds, this reduces the risk of losing out on exposure to equity if the issuing corporation does very well, without losing the status of a bond, which, as a debt, will be paid back before assets are distributed to non-debt liability holders. For the issuing corporation, usually the bonds hold a slightly lower interest rate than it would otherwise.


About the Author: Marcus Maltempo is a compliance professional with more than a decade of experience helping banks, law firms and clients manage investigations and regulatory responses.


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DFAST Means Dodd-Frank Annual Stress Test

Dodd-Frank Annual Stress Test is a simulation that tests the financial system’s ability to remain solvent. It was enacted when Congress enacted Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commonly know as the Dodd-Frank Act, named for its sponsors Senators Chris Dodd (Connecticut) and Barney Frank (Massachusetts).

Scenarios simulated are not arbitrary. There are 28 variables and they are based on historical economic crises. The variables are such things as rise in unemployment, rise in oil prices, rise in interest rates, fall of the GDP or a sudden equity market crash. National banks and federal savings associations are categorized into two for the simulation: those with more that $50 Billion in assets and those with less. Those with less than $10 Billion are exempt from participating in the Test.

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Dodd-Frank Update.com Logo

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About the Author: Marcus Maltempo is a compliance professional with more than a decade of experience helping banks, law firms and clients manage investigations and regulatory responses.


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BHC Mean Bank Holding Company

Bank Holding Company is a company that owns one or more subsidiary banks. There is no regional designations for such a company, but often they are interstate and international. These companies are usually interstate because there is no reason to hold multiple bank brands within a given state. Many of these companies are international, reaching both investors and clients abroad.

Bank Holding Companies are supervised by the Federal Reserve.

chevy chase capital one

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About the Author: Marcus Maltempo is a compliance professional with more than a decade of experience helping banks, law firms and clients manage investigations and regulatory responses.