The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has opened dozens of financial crime investigations since the 2010 formation an internal team that reviews suspicious activity reports, a New York official said Monday.
It's a message that has been hammered home repeatedly by the U.S. Treasury Department: the confidentiality of data included in suspicious activity reports is sacrosanct.
Federal examiners have uncovered "systemic breakdowns" at some banks in terms of how AML compliance policies are drafted to address subpoenas and law enforcement inquiries, said Suzanne Williams, manager of compliance in the banking supervision and regulation division at the Federal Reserve.
Dozens of U.S. banks have begun sharing suspicious transaction data without the use of formal bank-to-bank requests in an effort to better detect potential fraud and money laundering, say compliance officers.
New York HIFCA director discusses the importance of well written SARs and the organization's efforts to bridge the communication gap between the financial sector and law enforcement.
Banks need better legal safeguards when sharing customer information with other financial institutions in mortgage fraud investigations, say bank compliance professionals. At least one bank industry group wants to get Congress to consider such safeguards.
Limits such as a rule prohibiting financial institutions from sharing SAR information with nonbank affiliates hinder banks due diligence efforts, Bank of America Compliance Chief William Fox said at a compliance conference in Atlanta.