Policies to Enforce the Bank Secrecy Act and Prevent Money Laundering in Money Services Businesses and the Gaming Industry, Hearing Before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Eighth Congress, Second Session on Examination of the Effectiveness of U.S. Policies to Enforce the Bank Secrecy Act and to Prevent Money Laundering in Money Services Businesses and the Gaming Industry, September 28, 2004 [open pdf - 563KB]
From the opening statement of Chairman Richard C. Shelby: "This morning, the Senate Banking Committee continues its examination of the use of banks and other financial institutions for the laundering of money derived from criminal activity and for the possible financing of terrorist operations. In fact, the subject of this hearing is not banks at all, except to the degree that they transition into the financial services sector, previously the domain of other institutions. Previous hearings in the Committee's series on terrorist financing have logically focused on the banking industry. With primary jurisdiction over the banks and the Bank Secrecy Act, one of the principal legal mechanisms for combating money laundering, the Banking Committee has sought to draw as complete an understanding as possible of those institutions' continuing vulnerability to abuse by those who seek to harm this Nation. The easy work, however, has been done. Today, comes the hard part. Relatively speaking, banks are easy. We can, to a large degree, get our arms around the problems they pose for preventing money laundering. Today's hearing, however, begins our examination into an entire other realm of financial institutions. If banks represent a fairly well-defined institution into which we can peer for insights and over which we can ensure some reasonable degree of oversight, money services businesses and casinos present problems on a scale that dwarf anything else. There are an estimated 15,000 licensed money services businesses and another 160,000 unlicensed ones. That excludes 40,000 post offices, each of which function as a money services business by issuing money orders. If our regulatory agencies are overextended trying to maintain adequate oversight of banks-and history indicates there is vast room for improvement-then the challenge of preventing abuse of nonbank money services businesses is of several magnitudes greater." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: William J. Fox, Kevin Brown, Diana L. Taylor, Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., Joseph Cachey, III, Ezra C. Levine.
S. Hrg. 108-902; Senate Hearing 108-902
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