A former member of President Clinton's Secret Service detail has been tapped to head the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or Fincen.

Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin on Thursday appointed James F. Sloan, a 21-year-veteran of the Secret Service. The position has been open for more than a year.

In an interview, Mr. Sloan, 52, said he is looking forward to working with bankers. The fight against money laundering "is as important to the banking community as it is to the law enforcement community," he said.

Mr. Sloan will find a number of pressing issues on his plate when he joins Fincen. The agency is working on rules that would require check cashers, currency exchanges, and money transmitters to file suspicious activity reports. Similar requirements are supposed to follow for broker- dealers.

The former soldier and police officer served previously as a financial crimes investigator in the Secret Service's New York field office, special agent in charge of its Boston office, and special agent in charge of financial investigations worldwide.

In his most recent position as deputy assistant director at the office of protective operations, Mr. Sloan oversaw the protection of current and former U.S. presidents as well as foreign dignitaries.

Mr. Sloan was selected over a number of candidates with significant knowledge of anti-money laundering techniques, but little or no law enforcement background, including John J. Byrne, senior counsel and compliance manager at the American Bankers Association; Richard A. Small, assistant director for bank supervision and regulation at the Federal Reserve Board; and Fincen deputy director William F. Baity, who has served as acting director of the nine-year-old agency since Feb. 27, 1998.

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