In recent remarks to the Bankers Association for Finance and Trade in Washington, Treasury’s Deputy Assistant Secretary Michael A. Dawson addressed the implementation of the USA PATRIOT Act with respect to participation by U.S. domestic financial institutions in international financial services.
Established in 1921, the more than 150-member BAFT has been a catalyst in developing solutions in international banking legislation and regulation.
DAS Dawson pointed out that the Treasury Department’s challenge, as regulators, is to preserve the important contributions that international financial services make to the well-being of people in the United States and around the world while ensuring that international financial services are not abused by terrorists and money launderers to exploit the US financial system. This requires, he says, a risk-based approach in which financial institutions are asked to guard against real and active threats with significant consequence, rather than against threats that are imagined or of relatively little practical significance.
*”We do this best, we believe, by setting targets rather than by micromanagement of your operations by regulation, and by fostering a system in which transparency exists,”* he said.
The presentation (see attachment) covered three major areas:
· Implementation of the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act that bear on international financial services.
· Progress of other Financial Centres in improving their Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Rules.
…with Mr. Dawson concluding his remarks with proposed “Next Steps”.
He emphasised that one of the most important challenges being faced as the US Government continues to implement the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act is *’the measuring of its effectiveness and sharing that information with the private sector’*. The Treasury Official maintains that the principal challenge is to work together to develop and share information that helps maximise the effectiveness of the regulations and sustains the strong private sector commitment to fighting terror.