Patriot Act-Related Anti-Money-Laundering Requirements-The Hype and the Reality. (Special Advertising Section)

By Podzolka, Andrew; DeBerry, Hunter | ABA Banking Journal, May 2003 | Go to article overview

Patriot Act-Related Anti-Money-Laundering Requirements-The Hype and the Reality. (Special Advertising Section)


Podzolka, Andrew, DeBerry, Hunter, ABA Banking Journal


The Patriot Act has been in effect for more than a year and a half, which historically has been a sufficient period of time for financial institutions to modify procedures affected by new legislation. However, because various provisions of Title III of the Patriot Act are being phased in gradually, and because regulatory agencies have postponed the release of final regulations on some issues, it is difficult for financial institutions to determine which aspects of the Patriot Act they are required to comply with. Some financial institutions, for example, have started modifying their customer identification programs pursuant to proposed rules implementing Section 326 (and have even sent disclosures to their customers), only to find that the final regulations in all likelihood will be markedly different.

With respect to an anti-money-laundering program, the Patriot Act requires several components: the development of internal policies, procedures, and controls to prevent money laundering; the designation of an anti-money-laundering compliance officer; ongoing employee training; and the establishment of an independent audit function to test the established compliance programs.

In most recent examination and enforcement cases involving financial institutions that were found to be in violation of anti-money-laundering provisions of BSA, examiners did not find blatant cases of actual money laundering, but rather the lack of viable anti-money-laundering safeguards designed to prevent money laundering.

Generally, financial intuitions with viable compliance programs are well situated to meet the new regulatory requirements of the Patriot Act, including the new customer identification requirements. …

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