CUNA outlines BSA reg relief changes to Senate Banking Cmte

January 9, 2018

It is important to strike a balance between costs to financial institutions and the benefits of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), anti-money laundering (AML) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations, CUNA wrote Tuesday to Senate Banking Committee leadership. The letter was entered into the record for the committee’s hearing on reforming and strengthening BSA enforcement.

“We encourage a regulatory regime that will recognize the time and effort that goes into good faith compliance with laws, and does not unduly punish financial institutions for unintentional technical or minor errors,” the letter reads. “The seemingly never-ending stream of regulatory expectations for credit unions, often with small and stretched staffs, must be considered in agency examinations and when laws and requirements are enacted.”

The letter lists several technical changes that CUNA believes would “make a major difference in the compliance burden facing credit unions,” including:

  • Combining Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) and Current Transaction Report (CTR) forms;
  • Increasing reporting thresholds for CTRs to a minimum of $20,000 (up from the current $10,000) and doubling other thresholds, and extending the SAR filing deadline to 40 days (up from 30) for more complex cases;
  • Only requiring payable-on-death account beneficiaries against the OFAC list if payout to the beneficiary is necessary;
  • Eliminating the separate documentation requirement from regulations requiring identity verification of persons purchasing monetary instruments for currency in amounts between $3,000 and $10,000; and
  • Reconsidering zero-tolerance for non-compliance to account for unintentional errors on SARs or CTRs.