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6/18/2004 USA PATRIOT Act Monitor News Release: Banking Supervisors Encourage (Rather Tepidly) Services to Embassies, Foreign Political Figures
In an Interagency Advisory (posted numerous places, including under "What's New" at www.fincen.gov), the banking supervisory agencies indicate that their has been an industry reaction to the $25 million fine levied against Riggs Bank for BSA violations (discussed in the June issue of the Monitor). Apparently some financial institutions are declining to provide services to foreign embassies, governments, and/or political figures. In the Advisory, and a Treasury Statement of Policy released two days later, institutions are advised that providing services to foreign entities and agents should not be considered in conflict with compliance with the BSA, but the releases remind institutions that they are responsible for BSA compliance and that supervisors will be watching. If this was intended to put institutions at ease in providing services, it is questionable whether it will succeed. The releases will be discussed in a forthcoming issue of the Monitor.

The USA PATRIOT Act Monitor and the news releases prepared by the Monitor staff are services of the Civic Research Institute, publisher of Money Laundering, Terrorism, and Financial Institutions, by Raymond Banoun and John Ensminger. Contact and subscription information may be obtained at http://www.civicresearchinstitute.com/moneylaundering or by calling the Civic Research Institute at 609-683-4450 (fax: 609-683-7291).

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