Ten Years Ago, a Morning That Launched CFT Compliance

By Brian Monroe and Colby Adams

It's a story that all remember: the bright, Tuesday morning when nearly 3,000 lives were lost and others irreparably damaged. For financial investigators and institutions, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were also a watershed moment, one that left law enforcement agents and regulators scrambling to correct vulnerabilities they never suspected existed. Within weeks, U.S. lawmakers passed the USA Patriot Act, an amalgam of existing legislative proposals and hastily drafted new powers that were to radically change the compliance duties of financial institutions. Prior to the attacks, U.S. officials had "very little collection of any kind of financial intelligence," said John...