This bill ― the Cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies and Watch Act ― would provide a safe harbor for financial institutions that maintain a customer account at the request of a federal or state law enforcement agency. Currently, under the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering regulations, banks face strict rules for managing accounts so that they cannot facilitate money laundering, terrorism financing, drug running, and other illegal activities.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
- senate Committees
- The house Passed June 25th, 2018Roll Call Vote 379 Yea / 4 Nay
House Committee on Financial ServicesIntroducedMay 11th, 2018
- house Committees
What is it?
In-Depth: Introduced by Rep. French Hill (R-AR), this bill seeks to strengthen protections for financial institutions that are called upon by law enforcement for help during criminal investigations.
“As a former community banker, I have dealt with the conflict of wanting to help law enforcement agencies when receiving a ‘Keep Open Letter,’ while not being able to because of the need to comply with the requirements set forth by a regulator. That is why I am pleased to introduce this commonsense bill, which enables partnerships without repercussions between law enforcement agencies and our local financial institutions by allowing law enforcement to monitor cash flows associated with criminal investigations at a financial institution... This is another way Congress is giving our law enforcement the tools they need to prosecute bad actors wanting to use the American financial system for their criminal acts and to keep Americans safer.”
This bill passed the House Committee on Financial Services on a 55-0 vote and has the support of one cosponsor, Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL).
Summary by Lucas McConnell(Photo Credit: Chalabala/iStock)