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]