Community bankers are committed to supporting balanced, effective measures to prevent terrorist financing and money laundering. However, because BSA/AML requirements are outdated, community banks doubt their effectiveness.
ICBA supports statutory and regulatory changes that would make BSA/AML requirement more targeted, efficient, and effective. Community banks should be relieved from the collection of beneficial ownership information, which is already collected at the time a legal entity is formed.
Today’s outdated SAR and CTR thresholds promote over-filing and dilute their value to law enforcement. Treasury is required by the 2020 Anti-Money Laundering Act to update these thresholds. Higher thresholds will result in more valuable information and reduce community bank burden. SARs will have more value if they are appropriately risk-based.
More generally, BSA requirements should be flexible, easily applied, and effectively communicated. Congress and the agencies should continue to work with industry to reduce community banks’ mounting costs and regulatory burdens. Additional guidance is needed that is understandable and easily applied. Community banks must understand the methods of terrorist financing and money laundering they are trying to prevent.
Finally, the federal government should have consistent regulations across all financial services providers including nonbank entities.
Direct grassroots advocacy is essential to promoting federal policies that support community banking – and ultimately impact your role at the bank. Our Be Heard grassroots action center offers a variety of tools to help you amplify your voice with targeted outreach to federal policymakers.
Just like everything else, lobbying is a skill. This toolkit makes it easy to learn the best way to communicate with and engage policymakers in this virtual environment. No matter what role you have at the bank, YOU can support community banks and make an impact.
Every year, community bankers are invited to attend the complementary ICBA Capital Summit and this year is easier than ever to participate. The event is fully virtual, April 27 at 11am-1pm Eastern Time, so mark your calendars!