Thank you for the opportunity to your request
for regulatory for burden relief, as published at 70 FR 5571. I am
the Compliance Officer for Commercial Bank in West Liberty, KY. In
addition to monitoring compliance in all aspects of our bank, I
have also been designated to perform the day to day monitoring of
Our bank is a community bank. We strive to do
the best job possible to serve the community and its members.
Often that attempt to serve is hampered by undue and unnecessary
regulatory burden. Although that has been the case, increasingly,
since the 1970's, it has become especially burdensome since the
September 11 terrorist attacks. While we understand the need to
secure our country and its financial infrastructure, I question
whether the regulations, as implemented and enforced are
accomplishing that goal.
Specifically, I am concerned about the
Bank Secrecy Act. Compliance with this Act and
its regulations is one of the most expensive and time consuming in
our bank. Complex regulations lack clear and consistent guidance
for bankers or examiners. We hear from enforcement agencies that
information from the data we collect is useless in the form
presented. Penalties are severe for unintentional or misunderstood
noncompliance. The regulations need to be streamlined and
clarified. Examiners should look to advise and assist institutions
with compliance rather than punish. Before any amendments will be
successful, the data compilation must be re-designed in such a
way, and tested, to ensure that law enforcement will and can
utilize it. Otherwise, the regulatory burden cannot be justified
for the bank or the consumer.
Money Service Business. While this crosses over
to other areas of comment made in this letter, it is worthy of
separate comment. Banks should not be expected to monitor the
individual activities of each of its customers, absent suspicious
activity or statutory/regulatory mandates. The recent examination
efforts with regard to MSBs has proven that the response will be
that financial institutions will no longer be willing to shoulder
the potential risks associated with customers who are potentially
MSBs. The burden of reporting should be placed on actual MSBs, not
USA Patriot Act. Many of the comments for BSA,
above, are equally applicable to these requirements. There needs
to be more clarification as to acceptable and appropriate
identification standards. In addition, those standards must be
consistent with the documentation and information available and
verifiable in the various states.
Regulation D. The restrictions on transfers and
the paying of interest on certain deposit account are archiac.
These restrictions should be removed.
Again, thank you for this opportunity to
West Liberty, KY