Financial Access

BSA Reform Bill Clears House Committee

A bill designed to update the Bank Secrecy Act for the first time since the PATRIOT Act was passed contains two provisions that could benefit nonprofit organizations (NPOs) struggling with access to financial services. The bill passed unanimously out of the House Financial Services Committee on May 8, 2019. The Coordinating Oversight, Upgrading and Innovating Technology, and Examiner Reform Act of 2019 (COUNTER Act, H.R. 2514) directs the Secretary of the Treasury,

2019-06-20T05:21:57-04:00May 28th, 2019|Financial Access|

Derisking Conference Report Identifies Priority Measures

Interfering with the financial access of nonprofits operations designed to address post-conflict reconstruction or counter violent extremism "may in fact hinder other components of counterterrorism efforts," states a new conference report generated from a UK-Swiss meeting aimed at taking stock of existing initiatives, analyzing remaining obstacles and identifying future priorities. Read the full report.

2019-06-19T09:06:37-04:00January 17th, 2019|Financial Access, Litigation|

CGD Report Takes Stock of the Current State of Derisking

Over the past three years, progress has been made with the problem of derisking and the situation has stabilized so that no country is at risk of losing access to international payments services. At the same time, the problem has not yet been resolved, according to a report from the Center for Global Development(CGD), Policy Responses to De-Risking: Progress Report on the CGD Working Group's 2015 Recommendations. Three years ago,

2019-06-14T02:21:54-04:00November 1st, 2018|Abstracts, Financial Access, Litigation|

C&SN Submits Comments on Community Reinvestment Act

In comments submitted to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Charity & Security Network urges the agency to use the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) as a vehicle for incentivizing banks to provide financial services to nonprofit organizations (NPOs). The comments were submitted in response to an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) published by the OCC on September 5, which announced the agency's intention to build a new framework

2019-06-19T10:28:15-04:00October 13th, 2018|Financial Access, News|

Report: UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Warns of “Chilling Effect” on Humanitarian Aid

A UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights has criticized counter-terrorism laws for imposing “chilling effects on the provision of humanitarian aid for people desperately in need of help.” Agnès Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, released her report on August 7th 2018, entitled Saving Lives Is Not A Crime. The paper focuses on the criminalization of humanitarian services and

2019-06-14T02:23:07-04:00October 4th, 2018|Abstracts, Financial Access, Litigation|

GAO Report Builds Upon CSN Research on Financial Access for Nonprofits

In a study of implementing partners of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and State Department humanitarian assistance projects in four high-risk countries—Syria, Somalia, Haiti and Kenya—the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that most experienced banking access challenges, including denials and delays of fund transfers, problems opening accounts, increased fees and an account closure. Read more The report, Humanitarian Assistance: USAID Should Improve Information Collection and Communication to

2019-06-14T02:26:20-04:00September 20th, 2018|Abstracts, Financial Access, Litigation|

Report: Nonprofits Face Steep Banking Obstacles with Work in Syria

A combination of US counter-terrorist financing law and international sanctions set the stage for humanitarian aid delivery challenges in Syria. On top of that, the largest Syrian banks are sanctioned by the various countries, including the US, and the banking system outside of government control has collapsed. The countries bordering Syria (Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan) present additional challenges in the form of regulatory requirements and financial systems. All of

2019-06-14T02:24:37-04:00September 17th, 2018|Abstracts, Financial Access, Litigation|

ODI’s Study of West Bank and Gaza Civil Society Finds “A Humanitarian Sector in Debt”

A paper published by the Humanitarian Policy Group of the Overseas Development Institute, A humanitarian sector in debt: Counter-terrorism, bank de-risking and financial access for NGOs in the West Bank and Gaza, reveals the crippling effects that bank derisking has had on local humanitarian and development organizations in the West Bank and Gaza. This study draws on findings from interviews conducted in 2017 - 2018 and investigates the various

2019-06-14T02:27:22-04:00September 11th, 2018|Abstracts, Financial Access, Litigation|

Examination of Bank Derisking in Four Countries Finds Common Themes

A series of case studies on the implications of bank de-risking for humanitarian non-governmental organizations in four contexts revealed a number of common themes and recommendations. These are set out in a policy brief, Counter-terrorism, bank de-risking and humanitarian response: a path forward. Read more As the brief explains, although preventing the flow of funds to terrorist groups is a laudable goal, these policies have had "far-reaching and unintended consequences, including

2019-06-14T02:28:57-04:00September 6th, 2018|Abstracts, Financial Access, Litigation|

UNOSC Issues Terror Financing Risk Assessment Guidance

A guidance manual issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in June 2018 provides a methodology for member states conducting terrorist financing risk assessments. The document, Guidance manual for Member States on terrorist financing risk assessments, notes that terrorist financing needs to be countered in an efficient manner, emphasizing the importance of coordination and cooperation among financial intelligence units, law enforcement entities and intelligence services. "Terrorists

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