WASHINGTON-CUNA wrote Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill requesting more time for compliance with PATRIOT Act provisions concerning financial institutions. The law requires financial institutions to implement procedures to verify the identity of consumers opening accounts and check to see if the person’s name appears on any terrorist lists provided by the government, among other security measures, in just two weeks. The law requires policies and procedures be in place by October 25, but CUNA has asked the secretary for at least another six months for credit unions and other financial institutions to come into compliance. “CUNA and credit unions are strong supporters of the USA PATRIOT Act, and the credit union system is working hard to do its part to meet all requirements under that Act and other related requirements, such as Bank Secrecy Act and Office of Foreign Assets Control compliance responsibilities,” CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica wrote. He pointed out that financial institutions are still waiting for a final rule from their regulators. “We want to be very clear about our message,” the letter read. “We are not seeking to shirk any responsibility under the Act. What we are requesting, as we did in our comment letter, is that Treasury and the federal financial regulators provide institutions with reasonable and sufficient time to meet their obligations under the Act, which we believe would be at least six months.”

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