Bank Secrecy Act Enforcement, Hearing Before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Eighth Congress, Second Session on Efforts to Ensure Compliance and Enforcement of the Bank Secrecy Act, Enacted in 1970, which Authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to Issue Regulations Requiring that Financial Institutions Keep Records and File Reports on Certain Financial Transactions, Focusing on Anti-Money Laundering and Issues Concerning Depository Institution Regulatory Oversight, June 3, 2004 [open pdf - 2MB]
From the opening statement of Chairman Richard C. Shelby: "The purpose of today's hearing is to examine the record of the Federal Government in enforcing this Nation's laws against money laundering and terrorist financing. The high-profile case of Riggs Bank, which was recently fined $25 million for repeated-I emphasize ''repeated''-failures to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, the basic anti-money laundering statutes requiring the reporting of large cash transactions and suspicious financial activities, has highlighted possible deficiencies in the governmental structure for enforcing these laws. The Riggs case could be seen as unique. It involved that bank's near monopoly on foreign embassy banking. It involved an oil-rich country for which the movement of large amounts of cash was as routine as writing a check to pay bills is for many Americans. Whatever cultural, political, or economic factors resulted in Riggs' failure to comply with the law, despite repeated assurances to its Federal overseers that it would improve in that regard, this case cannot be seen as unique. As the General Accounting Office will testify later today before this Committee, the problem runs deeper than we may care to admit. There does appear, on the basis of a number of recent money laundering cases, as well as the case of UBS Investment Bank of Switzerland, about which this Committee held a hearing on May 20, to be serious deficiencies on the part of the Federal regulatory agencies vested with the authority and responsibility to enforce this Nation's laws against money laundering. The Riggs case, as well as that of Banco Popular, Delta National Bank and Trust of New York, and others clearly point to underlying problems in the approach of Federal regulatory agencies to properly carry out their mandate to enforce the Bank Secrecy Act." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Susan S. Bies, John D. Hawke, Jr., Donald E. Powell, James E. Gilleran, JoAnn M. Johnson, William J. Fox, Gaston L. Gianni, Jr., Davi M. D'Agostino.
S. Hrg. 108-886; Senate Hearing 108-886
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html