Industry Letters

Guidance for Licensed Money Transmitters on President Bush's Executive Order Freezing Assets that Support Terrorism

October 2, 2001


Effective September 24, 2001, President Bush issued an Executive Order (the "Order") freezing assets of individuals and organizations that support terrorism. This action represents an important first strike on the financial front in our nation's new war on terrorism. By issuing this Order, the President targets the very heart of terrorism by cutting off its financial resources and limiting the ability of terrorist supporters and organizations to move money across international borders. New York State licensed money transmitters will play a critical role in this aspect of the war on terrorism, and the cooperation of this industry will be critical in the months to come.

A copy of the Order is attached to this letter, and it also may be obtained from the Banking Department's website (, as well as the website of the Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") ( Licensed money transmitters should review the OFAC site frequently, since the list of entities whose assets were frozen by the Order is expected to expand quickly.

It is important that all licensed money transmitters understand that immediate compliance with the Order is required. Any monies received for money transmission services (including, but not limited to, the sale of money orders) to or from, any person or entity identified in the Order, or identified in any OFAC list or directive, must be blocked (monies must be accepted and held until further notice from OFAC or any other appropriate government agency).

It is also important that all licensees understand that there are severe penalties for violations of the Order under federal law.

The Banking Department expects the full cooperation of all licensed money transmitters. The Department will take all actions, and employ all powers available to it, to ensure that all money transmitters operating in this State are, at all times, in full compliance with the Order. Specifically, the Department will use all enforcement and examination powers available under the Banking Law and Department Regulations to effectuate compliance. The Department will cooperate with all local, state, federal, and international law enforcement agencies, as may be appropriate. The contents of this letter must be communicated to your agents and subagents immediately.

Should your company have any question regarding OFAC, it should contact the OFAC hotline at (202) 622-2490. Money transmitters having questions regarding the Department's enforcement of the Order or any related questions should contact Deputy Superintendent Paul Fazio at (212) 618-6401.

Very truly yours,

Elizabeth McCaul