Michael McDonald has seen banks make unnecessary demands of money services businesses (MSBs) when considering opening accounts for them. Some banks-and even some regulators-are misinterpreting regulatory requirements and asking MSBs to show that their anti-money laundering (AML) programs have been audited by a third-party accounting firm, McDonald, principal of Miami-based consulting firm Michael McDonald and Associates, said in a recent interview. "There is no requirement to have a CPA firm, and nowhere in the regulations does it say 'audit.' That's something the regulators and banks invented," said McDonald, noting that federal regulations call for an independent review of a Bank...
Not all money transmitters are overly vulnerable to money launderers and terrorist financiers and banks should refrain from automatically closing their accounts, U.S. Treasury Department officials said Monday.
Money services businesses are jumping through a new hoop to prove they have adequate anti-money laundering programs: in response to demands from banks, they are turning over copies of the independent reviews of their programs meant for regulators.
Financial institutions should be looking for signs that any of their armored car customers has become involved in check cashing, which would qualify them as money services businesses and subject them to BSA requirements.