Senate Committee Holds Hearing on BSA/AML Enforcement (March 11, 2013)
March 11, 2013
Government agencies must use their full enforcement authority to penalize institutions that run afoul of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requirements, especially with the advent of mobile payments, which present “huge potential” for fraud, said Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) during his summation of a hearing last week on BSA compliance. Warner added that no institution should be considered too big to fail or too big to prosecute, and that interagency collaboration must improve.
The Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held the hearing, “Patterns of Abuse: Assessing Bank Secrecy Act Compliance and Enforcement,” on March 7. Testifying on the BSA, which, along with other related statutes, establishes the framework for guarding the U.S. financial system from money laundering and terrorist financing, was David Cohen, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, U.S. Department of the Treasury; Thomas Curry, comptroller of the currency, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC); and Jerome Powell, governor, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
Powell told the committee that the sheer size of the global financial system, which includes prepaid and mobile payments, is a huge temptation for fraudsters. Cohen added that any suspected wrongdoing must be investigated rapidly and information sharing among government agencies must be efficient. Likewise, Curry told the committee that the OCC strives to share as much information as possible, alerting its counterparts if a possible crime is detected.