Just Say No to Customers That Don’t Provide Ownership Details, Bankers Counsel

By Brian Monroe

Banks should refuse to do business with companies that don't provide adequate beneficial ownership information, banking professionals and lawmakers say. Bankers and industry consultants point out that turning away business is sometimes the best tactic to keep a financial institution free from scammers who abuse lax U.S. incorporation laws to launder money and conceal their identities with layers of shell companies, limited liability corporations, and offshore accounts. Last year the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, which sets international money laundering standards, the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and a Senate report criticized the ease with which criminals can start...