Regulators may be about to crack down on some of the nation's biggest banks for failing to monitor possible unlawful cash transactions.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is close to taking action against JPMorgan Chase (JPM) for maintaining insufficient safeguards to prevent drug dealers and terrorists from laundering money, The New York Times reported Friday.
The agency also reportedly is scrutinizing Bank of America (BAC). Both the Justice Department and the Manhattan district attorney's office are said to be examining several other U.S. financial institutions as well.
The stepped-up scrutiny follows recent high-profile money-laundering cases against two British banks.
In August, U.K.-based Standard Chartered (STAN) agreed to pay $340 million to settle allegations by New York's Department of Financial Services that the bank processed transactions for Iranian customers in violation of U.S. money-laundering laws.
In July, HSBC Holdings (HBC) set aside $700 million to cover the cost of any fines by U.S. regulators following a U.S. Senate probe that accused the the bank of laundering money for clients in Iran, Syria and other countries.
Last year, JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay $88 million to settle charges that it processed wire transfers in violation of U.S. economic sanctions against Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Liberia. In August, the bank said it expects "heightened scrutiny by its regulators of its compliance with new and existing regulations," according to a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission.