September 21, 2018

NAFCU-backed BSA-relief bill introduced in House

BSARep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., introduced the Financial Reporting Threshold Modernization Act (H.R. 6850) on Thursday, which would reform the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and provide some relief to credit unions by raising certain thresholds, including for currency transaction (CTR) and suspicious activity reports (SAR).

"Credit unions are committed to combating criminal activity throughout our financial system," said Brad Thaler, NAFCU's vice president of legislative affairs. "Representative Loudermilk's bill will help ensure credit unions are able to focus more closely on catching illegal activity rather than being bogged down by stacks of paperwork and compliance exams. We thank Representative Loudermilk for his efforts to modernize the current BSA/AML regime."

Under this legislation, the BSA's CTR threshold would increase from $10,000 to $30,000; the SAR threshold would be increased for most financial institutions from $5,000 to $10,000; and the threshold for money services businesses would increase from $2,000 to $3,000.

In testimony before a House Financial Services subcommittee in June, NAFCU witness John Lewis, senior vice president of corporate affairs and general counsel at United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU), spoke about the need for further guidance on regulators' risk-management expectations. He suggested a safe harbor be put in place to ease credit unions' filing compliance burdens with BSA and anti-money laundering requirements.