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March 13, 1995

Advisory Group Focuses on Regulatory Reduction

Ronald K. Noble, Treasury's Under Secretary for Enforcement, will chair the fourth meeting of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Advisory Group today. "The BSA Advisory Group anticipated the letter and spirit of the President's recent regulatory reinvention initiative," said Under Secretary Noble. "It is a perfect example of the 'grass-roots, negotiate-don't dictate' approach called for by that initiative. With this group, the legitimate financial community has become a true partner in the fight against crime."

The BSA Advisory Group, whose members were selected by former Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen in March 1994, is a special panel of experts who offer advice to Treasury on increasing the utility of anti-money laundering programs to law enforcement and eliminating unnecessary or overly costly regulatory measures. The broad-based advisory group consists of 30 persons drawn from the financial community--including bankers, securities brokers, and other non-bank financial institutions--as well as federal and state regulatory and law enforcement agencies.

The meeting will focus on Treasury's initiatives to refashion the BSA to reduce regulatory burdens and increase the efficiency of Treasury's program to combat financial crimes. The BSA is the core of that program and is administered by Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN"). FinCEN has taken a number of steps recently to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens on the financial community. These efforts include:

"The progress we've made in recent months to reduce regulatory requirements does not mean that we're trying to reduce the level of protection against money laundering in the financial sector," said Stanley E. Morris, Director of FinCEN. "On the contrary, we're trying to identify unnecessary burdens so that banks and other financial institutions can devote resources where they will do the most good -- to reporting truly suspicious conduct quickly to law enforcement officers."

The agenda for the meeting, hosted today by the Federal Reserve, includes discussion of:

"One of the President's regulatory reduction goals is to convene groups of front-line regulators and the people affected by their regulations," said Noble. "The BSA Advisory Group stands as an example of the success that can be generated by forming partnerships with the private sector in order to, as the President says, 'focus on results, not process and punishment.'"