Burden of some BSA/AML reqs outweigh benefits to law enforcement

March 13, 2019

While CUNA supports efforts to track money laundering and terrorist financing, it told a House subcommittee Wednesday that it’s also important to strike the balance between the costs to financial institutions and the benefits to the federal government. CUNA sent its letter to the House Financial Services subcommittee on national security, international development and monetary policy for the record of its hearing on proposals to deter financial crime.

“We support legislative and regulatory changes to address the redundancies, unnecessary burdens, and opportunities for efficiencies within the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) statutory framework,” the letter reads. “Credit unions appreciate the importance of financial institutions, law enforcement, and the federal government all working together to combat money laundering, however, we would argue that the compliance burden for some of the BSA/AML requirements outweigh the value of the information reported.”

CUNA cited an example of the compliance burden by highlighting the $10,000 Currency Transaction Report threshold, which was set in 1970.

According to the Consumer Pricing Index’s inflation calculator, that’s equivalent to $1,500 today, yet credit unions are required to report every cash transaction over $10,000.