A team of law enforcement and bank officials may provide a model for how investigators and compliance officers at small and midsize financial institutions can better communicate, say individuals involved. Formed in March 2011, the Michigan-based group of six banks and credit unions and three law enforcement agencies meet every three months for three or four hours. Their goal: to improve their suspicious activity reports (SARs) and discuss the financial crimes particular to their region. The team is a "great model and could and should be applied elsewhere," said Gary Murray, the former director of New York's High Intensity Financial...
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.
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.
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.