In an attempt to combat money laundering, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is banning anonymous cash deposits into accounts at branches.
Starting Feb. 1, Chase tellers will ask all customers making cash deposits into consumer accounts to provide identification and to be listed on the account to complete the transaction. For business accounts, branch visitors depositing cash will be asked to provide identification. The new policies will become mandatory on March 3.
"We are making this policy change for cash deposits to combat misuse of accounts including money laundering," a Chase spokeswoman said.
JPMorgan Chase has been under increasing regulatory scrutiny in the past year, and last week agreed to pay $2.6 billion to settle charges related to the Madoff Ponzi scheme.
Elliot Berman, an expert in anti-money laundering compliance, says he does not know of another large U.S bank that as a general procedure requires cash depositors to show I.D. or to be listed on the account. Berman says he believes the move is a response to Chase's recent regulatory agreements and doesn't expect a trend among big banks.
Requiring ID "does give the depository bank more information about the actual depositor, which may prove helpful," Berman says. "But I don't see the procedure being an industrywide trend in the near term."
Many Chase customers could be inconvenienced.
"Think of the adult children assisting aging parents by taking the deposit to the bank," Berman says. "I would not be surprised if [Chase] tellers and branch staff receive many questions and expressions of concern from customers."
However, customers will be allowed to add authorized signers to their accounts, the Chase spokeswoman said.
Small businesses that use employees or "runners" to make cash deposits will still be able to do so, provided those people show I.D., Chase said. The new policies have been tested in a pilot program.
The policy changes will not affect personal check or money order deposits or investment, treasury and commercial accounts. Fox Business reported the move Tuesday.
The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 requires all cash transactions over $10,000 to be reported to the government.