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House approves MSB bill to clarify compliance questions
WASHINGTON (7/24/08)— The Money Services Business Act (H.R. 4049) was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday by voice vote. The bill clarifies that credit unions and banks that serve a money services business (MSB) are not responsible for that entity’s compliance with anti-money laundering laws and any other applicable Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requirements. MSBs are nonbank financial institutions that provide one or more of such services as money orders, traveler's checks, money transmissions, check cashing, currency exchange, currency dealing, or issuing, selling or redeeming stored-value cards. The bill was introduced in 2007 by Rep. Carolyn Maloney to address situations in which financial institutions could feel pushed to discontinue relationships with MSBs because of a lack of regulatory guidance about compliance liability. Although the bill was considered noncontroversial in the House and therefore placed on the Suspension Calendar for a quick vote, the fate of the legislation for the year is unclear because of the tight legislative calendar. The bill must now be taken up by the Senate. Yet, but both houses of Congress intend to adjourn for the year in late September because of the upcoming federal elections. Any bill not passed into law by then would have to be re-introduced in the new 2009 111th Congress.


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