Reps. Pearce, Luetkemeyer Introduce ABA-Backed BSA Reform Bill

Reps. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) yesterday introduced an American Bankers Association-supported bill that would update several elements of the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering laws and regulations. H.R. 6068 would raise the threshold for when Currency Transaction Reports must be filed from $10,000, where it was set by Congress nearly half a century ago, to $30,000, as well as increase the monetary threshold for Suspicious Activity Reports.

The bill would provide an 18-month enforcement safe harbor for financial institutions making good-faith efforts to comply with the recently effective customer due diligence rule. It would also facilitate SAR sharing with foreign bank affiliates, give the Treasury Department a more prominent role in coordinating AML policy and require studies of streamlining CTR and SAR reporting requirements and of the effectiveness of new beneficial ownership requirements.

“We believe that now is the time to update the law and help develop a system suited for both 21st-century banks and a more sophisticated criminal element,” ABA said in a letter today supporting the bill. “And it is important to take steps so that BSA/AML compliance doesn’t drive transactions and financial activity underground where it is out of the view of law enforcement.”