ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota credit union representatives participated in a working session on Nov. 3 with the offices of Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and Congressman Mark Kennedy (R-6th District) to address the impact of the Bank Secrecy Act on money service business.
The main focus of the meeting was to facilitate a dialogue among new American communities, state and federal regulators, and the financial services industry regarding BSA compliance, MSBs and international wire transfers.
Representatives from NCUA, Minnesota Department of Commerce, FDIC, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, OCC, the Federal Reserve, and Minnesota banks and mutual savings banks were also present at the session. Community leaders from around Minnesota also were in attendance, representing various Somali, Ethiopian and South American communities. One of the concerns among all involved is that strict regulations have the potential to put a halt to the wiring of money between Minnesota and Somalia. According to the World Bank, Somalia receives one-sixth of its annual per capita income via remittance.
"The extreme due diligence that is currently required can be an overwhelming burden to financial institutions, in some cases forcing them to act as de facto regulators of the money service businesses," said Dana Hofmann-Geye, executive vice president and general counsel of the Minnesota Credit Union Network, in reference to wire transfer compliance. "We are very encouraged by the interest of Senator Coleman and Representative Kennedy in working with us and others to address this issue with the regulators."
In addition to Hofmann-Geye, credit union attendees included Bill Raker, president/CEO of US Federal Credit Union, and Mary Doyle, CFO and vice president of Information Systems at City-County Federal Credit Union.