Banks will soon be freed from requirements to file reports on currency transactions with companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Treasury Department officials said.
Pamela J. Johnson, assistant director for compliance at Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, said she expects the agency to issue a proposed rule within six weeks covering a number of other exemptions from federal cash reporting rules.
However, the agency is under pressure from the industry to release the new exemptions, which have been in the works since late 1994. The stock exchange provision, which is relatively noncontroversial, is expected to take effect upon publication in the Federal Register, which is expected soon.
"Exempting companies on the New York Stock Exchange would eliminate more than two million CTRs," Ms. Johnson said. "We will continue to work through notices of proposed rulemaking to drop the number of filings down more."
Fincen director Stanley E. Morris has said his agency aims to cut by half the 11 million transaction reports filed each year.
Ms. Johnson said future rule proposals may also exempt long-time bank customers and businesses that do much of their business in cash from reporting requirements.
John J. Byrne, senior legislative counsel at the American Bankers Association and a member of Fincen's money laundering task force, said the new exemption system "clearly puts the onus on the banks to do their homework."
But, he said, by having to file fewer forms banks will be better off in the long run.
The delay in releasing the exemption list has frustrated some bankers. Mr. Morris said last November that the agency would exempt the nation's 2,000 largest companies from reporting requirements if it could not devise a system of exemptions by yearend.
But neither a new system nor the list of 2,000 exempt companies were developed by the agency. Ms. Johnson said the agency wanted to "avoid a piecemeal system of exempting companies," and chose to hold off on releasing the company list because it was so near to finalizing the exemption rules.