The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs has held hearings and is considering changes to the current Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering (AML) requirements, and a draft bill amending the BSA has been proposed.

Amongst other things, senators are hearing calls for legislation that will curb trade-based financial crime and illicit financing.

Out of date

The hearing noted that the BSA is nearly 50 years old and other money laundering laws written in the 1970s and are now “badly out of date.”

Several expert witnesses at the hearing offered suggestions for improvements ranging from increased interagency coordination and improved information sharing between financial institutions, regulators and particularly law enforcement.

Trade focuses

Acting deputy assistant attorney general at the US department of justice, Kendall Day in his testimony, listed several specific money laundering threats, including illicit cash, trade-based money laundering and illicit use of banks.

He also pointed to the misuse of money services businesses, obscured beneficial ownership, prepaid cards and virtual currency and the purchase of real estate and other assets.