As the May 23 kickoff for "sends" approaches, whispers have been circulating that some big-if unnamed-banks will not meet the new FedWire Expanded Funds format compliance deadline, implying they will run afoul of the Money Laundering Act-also known as the Travel Rule-and begin the fall of civilization as we know it.

The facts suggest otherwise. Enforcement of the deadline was delayed until January 1, 1998 by the federal Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which makes May 23 merely the beginning of a six-month phase-in period instead of a drop-dead date."A lot of (the banks) won't be able to send on May 23, but none (of them) won't be able to send by the last business day of 1997," says Dara Hunt, svp of wholesale payment products at the New York Fed.

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