NASSAU, the Bahamas -- The Organization of American States urged its 34 members last week to fight the laundering of drug money by abolishing anonymous bank accounts or those held in fictitious names.

As part of its annual assembly, the OAS issued model rules that recommend severe limits on banking secrecy.

Cooperation Urged

The rules call for stiffer sentences for money laundering, stricter supervision of bank accounts, and exchange of information and greater cooperation among regional nations.

The model rules say: "Financial institutions shall maintain accounts in the name of the account holder. They may not keep anonymous accounts or accounts which are in fictitious or incorrect names."

The rules came out of a two-year study by the OAS.

The group said banks should verify identity and seek as much information as possible on anyone opening an account and depositing a large sum of cash. Information should be kept a minimum of five years and made available to national or regional judicial authorities.

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