Washington Federal joins list of banks under BSA orders

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Washington Federal in Seattle is operating under a consent order tied to deficiencies in its Bank Secrecy Act compliance.

The $15.6 billion-asset Washington Federal said in a press release Wednesday that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency had issued the order, which required its bank to maintain a compliance committee and provide regular progress reports on its BSA compliance.

The BSA issues first surfaced in September, when the company withdrew its application to buy Anchor Bancorp in Lacey, Wash.

Washington Federal said in its release that it doesn’t expect to pursue acquisitions or branch expansion until its BSA program has improved.

“The bank expects to continue to incur significant expenses as it strengthens its BSA program and implements additional policies and procedures associated with complying with the” order, Washington Federal said.

The company disclosed earlier this year that its information technology costs increased by roughly $1.5 million in the fourth quarter largely because of consulting and audit work to enhance its BSA program.

Washington Federal said its management team remains confident in the company’s prospects, noting that it remains well capitalized.

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