The U.S. House Financial Services Committee will move forward with plans to reform Bank Secrecy Act reporting requirements this year as it shifts its primary focus toward mortgage lending practices and housing issues, committee chairman Barney Frank said. The flood of suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed by financial institutions each year may be hurting law enforcement efforts to investigate financial crimes, Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, said Thursday. He noted that the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) received more than 1 million SARs in 2006. "I think what we have done with the financial crimes people is to tell...
The current design of federally-mandated suspicious activity reports makes it difficult for banks to report important information tied to suspected mortgage fraud, say former law enforcement agents and consultants.
U.S. Representative Barney Frank said he will continue to push for easing the burden of Bank Secrecy Act compliance for financial institutions this year as the House Financial Services Committee turns its attention toward the widening U.S. mortgage and credit crises.
The House Financial Services Committee approved a bill that would authorize each federal banking regulator to write its own consumer protection rules, giving them a greater role in combating abuses in the subprime mortgage lending arena.
In a letter sent to SEC Chairman Christopher Cox on Thursday, Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said the list unfairly includes companies that have divested, or have negligible business dealings, in these countries.
The House Financial Services committee plans to hold a hearing in July to consider a bill that would authorize FinCENs proposed $85.8 million budget for fiscal 2008. The bill would also authorize FinCEN funding for fiscal 2009 through 2012.