Legal & Compliance

Richard Ostrander (bio)
General Counsel
and Group Head
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The Bank's Legal & Compliance Group consists of five separate and distinct functions: Legal, Compliance, Bank Applications, Group Operations and Strategy, and Records Management.

The Legal Function’s mission is to provide effective, efficient and client-focused legal services to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The function is headed by the Bank’s general counsel and consists of two divisions, each headed by a deputy general counsel.

  • The Supervision, Markets, and Financial Services division provides legal advice primarily in connection with: (i) financial institution supervisory and regulatory matters, including legal support for supervision and regulatory reporting and legal analysis of regulatory applications; (ii) open market, U.S. Treasury auction, foreign exchange, reference rate operations as well as financial market infrastructure, (iii) discount window operations; (iv) financial and account services for depository institutions and other entities, and
    (v) financial and account services for the U.S. Treasury, foreign central banks and international organizations.
  • The Enterprise Legal Services division provides a range of expertise in support of the Bank’s mission and operations. The Enforcement and Litigation team represents the Bank in litigation and other disputes, advises on litigation risk and oversight matters and, together with the Board of Governors, pursues regulatory enforcement investigations and actions against supervised financial institutions in the Second Federal Reserve District. The Financial Intelligence and Investigations Unit conducts investigations, responds to law enforcement requests, and provides expertise on matters including financial fraud, accounting, and BSA/AML and OFAC-related matters. The Employment and Corporate Matters team advises on employment and labor law matters that impact the Bank’s people, including those related to diversity, ethics, immigration, organizational change, and personnel policies, and advises and provides legal support to the Bank’s Freedom of Information Office. The Technology and Contracts team drafts, negotiates and advises on documents relating to the Bank’s procurement of goods and services, software and data licensing, cloud computing, and other technologies as well as matters relating to intellectual property, data privacy and security.

The Compliance Function is an independent advisory and control function within the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The central mission of the Compliance Function is to protect the Bank and its people by fostering an ethical culture and ensuring appropriate risk-based compliance and ethics controls are utilized. The function has two parts:

  • The Compliance Department identifies and assesses risks related to the failure to comply with the Bank's code of conduct, internal policies, and regulations principally associated with anti-money laundering, U.S. economic sanctions compliance, fraud risk, sensitive data management, trading operations, and other restrictions related to employee conduct.
  • The Ethics Office provides guidance to employees on conflicts of interest and other code of conduct–related issues. It considers waiver requests and serves as a central resource for resolving allegations of violations of policies, laws or regulations, and breaches of accounting, auditing, or operational controls.

The Bank Applications Function coordinates, analyzes, evaluates, and recommends Federal Reserve action on a variety of proposals by domestic and foreign banking organizations. The function assists in proposing amendments to applicable laws and regulations and contributes to the formulation of Federal Reserve policy on application matters. In addition, it educates local and foreign banking communities about U.S. laws and regulations relating to mergers, acquisitions, and expansionary activities. For more information about filing bank applications, click here.

The Group Operations and Strategy Function provides the Legal Group with resources and strategies in furtherance of group and Bank objectives through three units:

  • Business Operations & Strategy liaises between the Legal Group and key stakeholders in the Bank's support areas to implement decisions made by Legal Group management, helps the group strategically assess its work, and manages the group’s administrative assistants, law library, and professional development programs.
  • Legal Information Management and Automation establishes and promotes information management best practices and carries out tasks in support of the capture, organization, access control, classification, management, and distribution of data and records used by the Legal Group.
  • Risk Management and Contingency Planning is responsible for traditional contingency planning and for strengthening the Legal Group’s risk management processes.

The Records Management Function is responsible for providing Bank staff with the policies, guidance, and tools necessary to manage records and information in an effective, efficient, compliant and legally defensible manner.

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