Report: The Government Is Going To Start Busting Heads Over Money-Laundering At Big Banks

If big banks weren’t at the root of so many problems, maybe we’d be starting to feel the tiniest bit bad for all the trouble they’ve been getting into lately with authorities. But yeah, we don’t feel the slightest twinge of sympathy that regulators are reportedly about to start cracking down on a few big banks for money-laundering.

The New York Times cites anonymous officials who say federal and state authorities are looking into some major U.S. banks to see if they’ve been keeping tabs on cash transactions at their branches. The concern is that perhaps lack of oversight has allowed criminals and terrorists to launder their ill-gotten gains.

According to the officials, the upcoming crackdown is going to be one of the most thorough efforts to combat money-laundering in decades, in order to make it super clear that being so weak at monitoring those kinds of activities is just not acceptable.

Two banks said to be included in the crackdown are JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, along with some other big bank fat cats.

Reports the New York Times:

The comptroller’s office could issue a cease-and-desist order to JPMorgan in coming months, an action that would force the bank to plug any gaps in oversight, according to several people knowledgeable about the matter. But the agency, which oversees the nation’s biggest banks, has not yet completed its case. JPMorgan is in the spotlight partly because federal authorities accused the bank last year of transferring money in violation of United States sanctions against Cuba and Iran.

HSBC recently found itself in hot water for its weak system that allowed drug cartels to use the bank to launder money, but it isn’t clear if it’s one of the banks in trouble with authorities this time around as well.

Money-Laundering Inquiry Is Said to Aim at U.S. Banks [New York Times]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Blueskylaw says:

    “Report: The Government Is Going To Start Busting
    Heads Over Money-Laundering At Big Banks”

    So the government is finally going to start enforcing at least one (1)
    law against the banks that have been on the books for decades now?

  2. axhandler1 says:

    “After the investigation, any banks found to be in violation of the law will be fined. The fine will be less than the amount of money they made by violating the law. The banks will also not be required to admit to any wrongdoing as part of the punishment.”

  3. McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

    Wow! They could issue a cease-and-desist order?
    Sounds super-duper serious, guys!

  4. Gman says:

    “According to the officials, the upcoming crackdown is going to be one of the most thorough efforts to combat money-laundering in decades, in order to make it super clear that being so weak at monitoring those kinds of activities is just not acceptable.”

    Why when I read this paragraph did I have the voice of a 5 year old kid stamping their feat in a “moooooom…billy is annoying me!” voice?


    Sigh. I would love tyhe banks to be taken to task for improper practices but we all know that any regulator wishing for a job post govt. work will only give them a slap on the wrist.

  5. CrazyEyed says:

    I’m currently working a contract job helping with the remediation of business accounts at HSBC. They aren’t taking this lightly after they were hit with a federal injuction last year. I will say, despite all the checks they’ve put into place, its still a pain in the a__ to truely track where money is coming from and going to especially when cash is involved. While its easier to track wires and electornic transfers, its difficult to determine origin and destination of where cash is coming from or going to. Many of the companies I deal with have complext organizational structures and despite all the background checks and account analysis, there’s nothing stopping Joe from handing John big bills A lot of what businesses do is subjective so I can understand if a small, poorly regulated or monitored corporation is able to filter money for adverse reasons.

  6. JollySith says:

    I am all about making banks follow regulations that mak sense and prevent them from causing harm. But this is not one of them. These OFAC regulations merely track anyone and everyone who makes significant cash deposits, or or transfers money from account to account. It essentially works as a warrant-less search of your financial transactions based solely on what you choose to do with your own cash.

  7. lexpost says:

    about effing time. It’s time to dismantle TBTF. The banks have been acting as a law unto themselves for too long.

  8. PBallRaven says:

    You may cheer now, but in a few years when your bank starts refusing cash deposits more than a couple of hundred dollars (or at all), you won’t be cheering so much.

  9. oldwiz65 says:

    The big banks probably get money under the table for laundering the money. They plan to bribe the feds to let them keep doing it.

    • JollySith says:

      The money is not under the table. The money the banks get come from the same fees and interest that everyone else pays. All the banks are doing is failing to do the jobs if US prosecutors for them.

  10. Harry Greek says:

    And then said banks will run to the US Government to help them pay for the costs of putting in place anti-money laundering mechanics and processes.

    • JollySith says:

      And why wouldn’t they. The anti-laundering processes only protect the interests of the IRS and in persecuting citizens in the name of the “Drug-war”. All these regulations do is keep track of your name and account numbers if you make cash deposits (legally), or move your money around in certain ways (legally), or to certain places of interest (legally).

  11. Obtruder says:

    The only solution to American banksters is to make banking a federal venture and shut down for-profit banks. They have way too much play and control, and have no problem doing seedy things and screwing up our whole financial system to do it.

  12. tz says:

    There have been many cases, and a few slap-on-wrist / cost of doing very profitable business fines. Nothing is going to happen, but if you miscalculate on your 1040 you will go to prison. But there is immunity like for telecom illegal wiretaps. Banks are above the law.