WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department released guidelines Tuesday urging banks and other financial institutions to deter money launderers through closer scrutiny of transactions involving senior foreign politicians.

The final guidelines co-issued by the bank regulators and the State Department ask institutions to determine whether current or prospective customers are top foreign officials or close relatives or associates of such officials.

Though compliance is not mandatory, the Treasury could ask financial institutions that do not cooperate to implement the measures as part of their risk management policies. “We want to make sure that people do take the guidance seriously and use this to root out possible corruption,” Treasury Deputy Secretary Stuart E. Eisenstat said in a conference call with reporters.


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