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On April 16, 1986, the Subcommittee will begin hearings
As you know, last year the Subcommittee on Financial
At that time, I stated that the Subcommittee was
suspicions that BSA violations are widespread and extremely serious.
In that regard, the Subcommittee will continue to examine efforts undertaken by the banking regulators to improve their enforcement procedures of the BSA in the series of hearings beginning on April 16. In accordance with my request of January 14, 1986, the Subcommittee appreciates the written report submitted by Assistant Secretary Keating concerning the activities of the office of Enforcement and Operations to promote the compliance of financial institutions with the provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act. In his testimony on April 17, the Committee would appreciate an update of that report and any additional information which your office deems relevant to the subject matter before us.
It has become apparent that limiting the Subcommittee's review to BSA provisions, as important as that is, does not fully address the grievous problems that currently exist with respect to criminal elements in our society using financial institutions for tax evasion, drug trafficking, money laundering, and other criminal activity. Therefore, the Subcommittee intends to revisit other banking statutes and to review the number of bills that have been referred to the Banking Committee, which bills are generally referred to as "money laundering" legislation.
There are four Titles of the Financial Institutions Regulatory and Interest Rate Control Act of 1978 (FIRICA), also known as the Safe Banking Act of 1978, which the Subcommittee intends to review and which we feel may lend support to our efforts to fight those criminals who use our financial institutions for their illegal gains. They are Titles I, VI, VII and XI (Supervisory Authority Over Depository Institutions; Change in Bank Control Act; Change in Savings and Loan Control Act; and the Right to Financial Privacy Act, respectively).
Your response to the following questions and any other comments you feel are pertinent to the issues raised would be appreciated.
Title I (Supervisory Authority Over Depository Institutions)
In 1978 Congress gave banking regulators authority to impose civil money penalties for violations of laws, rules and orders. The new authority gave the agencies the flexibility they needed to impose penalties on individuals or institutions for violations which did not rise to a criminal violation.
Specifically, is there any merit to considering giving the regulators authority to impose civil money penalties upon financial institutions for their failure to report under BSA, or should the Treasury continue to have the authority to impose such penalties?
To what extent could these powers be improved upon to lend support in appropriate cases to criminal law enforcement investigations?
To what extent, if any, might the supervisory
Title VI and VII (Change in Bank Control Act and Change in Savings and Loan Control Act
The Safe Banking Act of 1978 corrected, to a great extent, one of the most glaring gaps in the regulatory structure of our depository institutions, i.e., the lack of control over transfers of ownership of banks and savings and loans between individuals or groups of individuals. However, in light of certain ongoing criminal activities, the Change in Bank Control Act may need to be amended. A. What modifications, if any, do you feel are
necessary to deny acquisitions of control
Should more specific standards regarding what
What problems, if any, is the agency incurring in obtaining sufficient relevant information of foreign nationals seeking to acquire U.S. depository institutions?
Title XI (Right to Financial Privacy Act)
As you know, the Right to Financial Privacy Act gives individuals notice of, and a chance to challenge, federal government agency requests for their bank records. In 1978 this Committee sought to strike a balance between a customer's right of privacy and the need of law enforcement agencies to obtain financial records pursuant to legitimate investigations. Today, our goals are not any different from what they were in 1978. However, some law enforcement officials have suggested that the 1978 Act is at times an impediment to legitimate law enforcement investigations. Indeed, the Administration's bill, H.R. 2785, would deny the customer's financial privacy protection under the Act under certain circumstances. The Subcommittee would welcome your comments on the experiences you have had with right to financial privacy concerns, and whether in your opinion amendments to the Right to Financial Privacy Act are warranted.
"Money Laundering Bills"
As noted above, several bills dealing with money laundering, but having impact on various banking and other statutory law have been referred to the Banking Committee. The Subcommittee intends to review these proposals and would appreciate your comments and analyses of them. The bills we intend to review are: H.R. 2785 (Administration's bill)., H.R. 1367 (McCollum), H.R. 1945 (Hubbard), H.R. 1474 (Hughes), H.R. 3892 (Wortley), and H.R. 4280 (Torres).
Please provide the Subcommittee with 175 copies of Assistant Secretary Keating's testimony, and 175 additional copies of the BSA report, no later than April 16, 1986. Please have your staff contact Earl F. Rieger, Counsel of the Full Committee staff, if there are any questions.
Fefnand J. St Germain
Dear Mr. Chairman:
On April 16, 1986, the Subcommittee on Financial
For your information, last year the Subcommittee held
At that time, I stated that the Subcommittee was