The OCC issued a consent order against Anchorage Digital Bank, one of the first crypto firms to receive conditional approval for a national trust charter.

BSA/AML: The OCC said the consent order is based on the bank’s failure to adopt and implement a compliance program that adequately covers Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering requirements.

Conditional Approval: The agency last year conditionally approved the conversion of the South Dakota-chartered Anchorage Trust Company to become Anchorage Digital Bank. The operating agreement set forth BSA/AML requirements, which the digital bank has failed to meet.

ICBA Requests: ICBA and other groups last year asked the OCC to rescind:

  • The conditional charter approvals for Anchorage Digital Bank, Paxos National Trust, and Protego Trust Bank.

  • An interpretive letter expanding eligibility to apply for a national trust charter.

Charter Policy Shift: Interpretive Letter 1176, published in January 2021, effectively eliminated the longstanding requirement that applicants for national bank trust charters engage in fiduciary activities. The OCC made the change without public review three days before the resignation of Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks, allowing for the charter conversions.

Ongoing Concern: More broadly, ICBA has repeatedly called on the OCC to ensure all national banks are subject to a consistent regulatory framework and to appropriately consider the potentially novel uses of national bank charters.