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Inside Washington (02/26/2010)
* WASHINGTON (3/1/10)—The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is proposing revisions to its Bank Secrecy ACT (BSA) rules that address reports of foreign financial accounts. The changes are intended to clarify which persons are required under the law to file reports of foreign accounts and more clearly identify which accounts are reportable. The plan also carries an exemption—noting that certain individuals with signature or other authority over foreign financial accounts do not have to file the reports. The BSA provisions that authorize reports of foreign financial accounts reflect the concerns of federal lawmakers that Americans were using foreign financial institutions to evade domestic criminal, tax, and regulatory laws. Written comments are due to FinCEN, a bureau of the U.S. Treasury, by April 27… * WASHINGTON (3/1/10)—Those drafting a Senate version of a financial regulatory reform package are noting that they have made great progress of late—perhaps 90% done with hammering out the provisions of the legislation. (American Banker 2/26/10) However, not surprisingly, one of the looming issues still to be nailed down is just how to beef up consumer protections as they relate to financial products. That was one of the most controversial proposals when the Obama administration announced its reform plan last summer, and continues to be the most problematic section of the bill. The concept of a stand-alone consumer financial protection agency has been given up in the Senate, but there are thoughts being given to creating a division within the U.S. Treasury Department or a proposed new and powerful banking regulator that would focus on consumer protections. At a recent administration meeting with bankers, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, it was reported, warned that if a final reform bill was not strong enough, he would urge the president to reject it…


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