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The Battle to Balance Vigilance and Suspicion

Carole Switzer | June 4, 2013

While they would never utter the
words “Why bother?” aloud,
and even suggesting they might
think it is bound to be controversial, frustrated
financial services professionals
can be excused if they occasionally feel
this phrase forming in their minds when
thinking about their role in the ongoing
battle against money laundering.

After all, the magnitude of this conflict—not to mention the scope of complying
with anti-money laundering (AML)
regulations—is staggering.

For starters, banks must file a suspicious
activity report (SAR) when suspicious
activity arises. What qualifies as a
suspicion often is a difficult question—as
is the determination of whether or not to
file a SAR. The filing
of too many (and/or incomplete) SARs
can overwhelm regulatory
agencies, reducing
their ability
to address genuine
criminal activity. File
too few SARs... To get the full story, subscribe now.