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LAS VEGAS — In the war on terror financing and anti-money laundering, just how big a “cop” role should credit unions be playing? If you hear it from NCUA Board Member Gigi Hyland, “playing cop” is simply not in the job description and never intended, but the industry does have a patriotic and a charter responsibility to assist law enforcement in tracking down crimes under the much maligned and burdensome Bank Secrecy Act/Patriot Act provisions. Acknowledging her frustration and hours spent “at home at my kitchen table” pouring over tracking transactions in her former job as senior legal counsel for Empire Corporate, she now realizes as a regulator the value “and noble good credit unions play as a pillar of prevention” in the war on terror financing. Still, “some of this is scary stuff” as CUs across the U.S. continue to grapple and fear a regulatory crackdown and huge fines for failure to comply, she told a two-day conference here sponsored by Credit Union Times and the Executive Enterprise Institute on “Complying with the Bank Secrecy Act and USA Patriot Act.”

While she said she understands compliance can often seem overwhelming, CUs can surmount the difficulties by enhancing dialog and communication with examiners “and not be shy” about coming forward to challenge opinions. The title of her speech was, “Taking the B.S. out of BSA.”

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