The Bank Secrecy Act, Anti-Money Laundering and your FINRA Exam

BSA Back in the Regulatory Focus

Today’s geopolitical climate has caused more focus on money laundering activity related to illegal drug trafficking and terrorist financing. Consequently, regulators place higher priority on enforcing the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), which mandates financial industry standards to detect and prevent money laundering. Therefore, examiners across the financial services industry are scrutinizing industry procedures and verifying compliance during firm audits.

Regulators are verifying that financial institutions have developed and implemented effective anti-money laundering (AML) procedures that adequately address their business models. Firms can no longer download and file away a cookie-cutter, “one size fits all” AML procedure template from the internet, present it to regulators upon request, and satisfy BSA requirements.

Increased AML scrutiny is also reflected in FINRA’s current licensing exam program. Candidates who sit for principal exams including the Series 9, 10, and 24 must be proficient in policies and procedures that satisfy the BSA. Candidates also need this proficiency for representative exams such as the Series 6, 7, 65, and 66. Furthermore, AML content appears regularly in FINRA’s continuing education curriculum.

Barring unforeseen changes in global events, this heightened attention to money laundering activity and its prevention will remain a priority indefinitely. So if you’re not already on top of your BSA requirements, it’s time to get your ducks in a row. And you can count on FIRE Solutions… we continually update our exam prep and continuing education courses to fully equip our students for their exams and their front-line duties to protect our U.S. financial systems.