WASHINGTON -- Banks that suspect criminals are using their institution for money laundering or other crimes will have a new, single form to fill out when they want to report such suspicious behavior.
"It used to be that there were different forms for different regulators," said Peter G. Djinis, director of the Treasury Department's Office of Financial Enforcement. "There is now one form for filing so-called criminal referrals," he said.
Data reported on the machine-readable form will quickly reach the computer screens of law enforcement officials, and as a result, will help them "make maximum use of the information," Mr. Djinis said.
Separately, the Treasury Dept. has been getting lots of phone calls from bankers asking questions about wire transfer regulations. So Treasury plans to distribute a set of questions and answers to bankers' most frequently asked questions. It will also be available on the Bank Secrecy Act computer bulletin board. For computer access, phone 313-961-4704; for assistance, phone 313-226-3293.
The new rules would require banks and nonbank financial institutions to keep standardized records for five years of the wire transfers they send and receive. Institutions would not be required to report the information they collect to the government unless the transfer raises suspicions of illegal activity.