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Using letters ASC in wire transfer

I had a weird thing happen that I'd like more information on, but a Google search gives me nothing so I thought I'd ask here and let the experience serve as a heads up for other consultants that receive international wires. 

I recently invoiced a US client in their Singapore office for their quarterly ASC 718 option expensing.  I used the code citation in my invoice reference, they input it into their system and included it in the detail section of their wire transfer from Citibank. Everything seemed to go fine, but the funds were never deposited to my account.  When I called my bank, USBank, they said that the letters ASC used together like that in a wire transfer triggered some sort of red flag and that they had to contact the originating bank for clarification (in this case the originating bank never responded and the funds were returned and my client has to resubmit the wire).

Does anyone know what this is all about?

Answers

Bruce McClurg
Title: VP Treasury Management Consult
Company: Consulting
(VP Treasury Management Consult, Consulting) |

If your bank says that the letters ASC raised a red flag ...then whose red flag was it for? I would ask the bank to clarify the rationale for this return of the wire funds simply because of the letters for incoming funds in the detail. Was this a client that has sent wires to you before? If you have an established history of funds sent before, I would hold your bank responsible for the action. For the delay of the funds, problems associated to getting your client to resubmit and even their costs. Contingent of a clear explanation.

Achaessa James
Title: Product Manager
Company: National Center for Employee Ownership
(Product Manager, National Center for Employee Ownership) |

Thanks, Bruce. Yes, it is a wire from a client with a wire history, but it's the first time I've used that coding because it's the first update they've done since the codification. Unfortunately, I didn't find out until the bank had already rejected the wire. I didn't catch the entire explanation, I was so baffled by the rejection, but my recollection is that it was some sort of federal red flag for international wires on some kind of watchlist. It was just too bizarre. I will definitely look into it more and keep your suggestions in mind. Thanks for the feedback.

Tom Harper
Title: EVP/General Auditor
Company: Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago
LinkedIn Profile
(EVP/General Auditor, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago) |

Google OFAC ... Federal Office of Foreign Asset Control promulagtes a list of 'bad' people all US persons should not, by law, conduct transactions with. Banks in particualr are required to 'scan' transactions for compliance, I am surprized they even told you and the fact that the money was returned indictes it was probably the Bank in Singapore that identified the problem, the US Bank would have had to freeze it and report to the treasury a process that could take years to resolve. You can look up any text for OFAC hits at http://www.instantofac.com/search.php the actual OFAC lists are huge. Your transaction matched to AFGHAN SUPPORT COMMITTEE aka ASC. When I worked in international banking this was a constant source of frustration when legitimate wires were trapped by similer acronyms ... my favourite being the Dive shops with (S)CUBA in their name. The wire will go through if this is left out.

Achaessa James
Title: Product Manager
Company: National Center for Employee Ownership
(Product Manager, National Center for Employee Ownership) |

Thank you for this great explanation, Tom. I will pass this information along to all my accounting consultant colleagues to ensure that they don't use the Accounting Standards Codification codes in their invoices as I did. Geeze!

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