Jonathan Lopez Weighs in on State of Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Regulations for Banks

The Wall Street Journal | February.16.2017

Jonathan Lopez, a litigation partner in Orrick’s Washington, D.C. office who previously served as inaugural Deputy Chief of the Department of Justice’s Money Laundering & Bank Integrity Unit, spoke with The Wall Street Journal [subscription required] on The Clearing House’s recent call to scrap burdensome regulations requiring banks to flag suspicious transactions.

Reflecting on the numerous institutions responsible for the oversight of anti-money laundering compliance, Jonathan describes the current U.S. enforcement regime as “a bit scattered”. He goes on to say that “The anti-money laundering world would welcome [a reorganization] because they have a lot of different masters with different expectations.”

Jonathan added that there is a disconnect between law enforcement and regulators assessing banks on whether they’re complying with the law. He concluded by saying, “If the ultimate goal is assisting law enforcement with the use of suspicious activity reports, the question should not be how many you’re filing but whether they’re working.”