Banks and credit unions have been gnawing on one another like Donald Trump on Carly Fiorina's face since before The Donald's dad gifted him with his first blow dryer (which, I believe, was some time before Cro-Magnon Man out-bred Donald's Neanderthal ancestors). Credit unions want to make business loans like banks and banks want to be tax exempt, too. Or, something like that.
Amidst all the "Am Not-Are Too" finger-pointing engaged in by both segments of the financial industry, there is clearly one area of business where banks are beating credit unions to the punch, time after time: SAR-filing (paid subscription required).
Speaking Tuesday to the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery said that an unusually large number of credit unions have not filed suspicious activity reports or currency transaction reports for nearly two years.
"Some early research we are looking at suggests that we have a surprisingly larger … statistically relevant and unusual number of credit unions that over a seven-quarter period — so almost a two-year period — filed neither a SAR or CTR," she told the trade group's congressional conference.
She acknowledged that "there could be problems with the data," but added that "the number is surprising, so we are trying to understand that."
Now, this is the same Jennifer Shasky Calvery who last year declared that the battle to pry open the banking business for state-legal recreational marijuana businesses had been won, so a healthy dose of skepticism might be warranted as to the reliability of these statistics. Still, no SARs or CTRs at all?
I guess its safe to say that many credit unions are not overspending on their anti-money laundering compliance staff. Which, I suppose, is just fine until, you know, it isn't.