Criminals have long used money laundering schemes to conceal or "clean" the source of fraudulently obtained or stolen funds.
Money laundering poses significant risks to the safety and soundness of the U.S. financial industry. With the advent of terrorists who employ money-laundering techniques to fund their operations, the risk expands to encompass the safety and security of the nation. Through sound operations, banks play an important role in helping investigative and regulatory agencies identify money-laundering entities and take appropriate action.
Under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and related anti-money laundering laws, banks must:
- establish effective BSA compliance programs;
- establish effective customer due diligence systems and monitoring programs
- screen against Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and other government lists;
- establish an effective suspicious activity monitoring and reporting process; and
- develop risk-based anti-money laundering programs.
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