27 March 2016
The purported “Final Rule” that FinCEN released on Friday, 25 March 2016, is not in fact “final” at all. It is subject to a preliminary injunction by a federal court in Washington D.C. that bars the rule from taking effect pending further inquiry by that court into the fairness, accuracy and legality of FinCEN’s process. The “Final Rule” is also subject, by its own terms, to a four-month waiting period between official publication and effective date. FBME has every right and intention to challenge the legality of the “Final Rule” so that the U.S. court can decide whether it should ever take effect.
Nor do FinCEN’s claims in the Final Rule change anything as compared to the prior claims that led to the preliminary injunction. FinCEN has effectively repeated the same mistakes and returned to the same flawed evidence in its latest incarnation of its Final Rule. These missteps have sadly but predictably led FinCEN to the same erroneous proposal of the fifth special measure. We think it is all too obvious at this point that FinCEN has stubbornly committed itself to a foreordained conclusion and won’t let evidence, facts, law, public comments, or fundamental fairness stand in the way of that.
Thanks to the judicial orders, schedule, and preliminary injunction that remain in place, however, FBME Bank’s day in court lies shortly ahead. We emphasize that we have every intention of challenging FinCEN’s latest ruling as procedurally and substantively defective and look forward to our day in court.