The Texas Credit Union League warned its members Friday against complacency in adhering to Bank Secrecy Act and Office of Foreign Assets Control rules following a $160 million money laundering judgment issued Thursday by the U.S. Justice Department against the old Wachovia Bank, now part of Wells Fargo.
In an e-mailed message to members, the Texas league said BSA compliance is obviously "alive and well" in light of a deferred prosecution agreement between the U.S. Attorney in Miami and Wachovia over money laundering violations involving Mexican currency exchanges and narcotics sales.
While the Wachovia fine does appear "extreme," said Steve Gibbs, assistant vice president of TCUL compliance, the government action does demonstrate a "loud and clear" message on BSA.
In a statement on the Wells Fargo fine issued by Justice's Criminal Division concerning 2004-2007 violations, CUNA said it, too is reminding CUs about BSA and OFAC compliance.
The Wachovia fine demonstrates BSA requirements are being taken "very seriously" and the government's careful scrutiny, said Nichole Seabron, CUNA's federal compliance counsel.
"This case presents another example of a financial institution's failure to implement effective anti-money laundering processes to manage its business risk," she said.