Capital One is facing nearly $400 million in fines for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. The credit card issuer, the second largest in the United States, “willfully and negligently” flouted U.S. anti-money laundering laws, according to prosecutors. Here is what you need to know:
Capital One Facing Huge Anti-Money Laundering Fine
The U.S. government has fined Capital One $390 million for breaches of the Bank Secrecy Act. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a branch of the U.S. Treasury Department, says that Capital One has admitted negligence by “willfully failing” to implement money-laundering safeguards outlined in U.S. law.
Capital One admitted to a failure to file “thousands of suspicious activity reports,” according to FinCEN Director Kenneth Blanco, as well as “thousands of Currency Transaction Reports.”
These violations, which occurred between 2008 and 2014, relate to a unit called the Check Cashing Group. All told, Capital One’s failures resulted in millions of dollars through unreported suspicious transactions.
“Puts Our Nation and Our People at Risk”
“The failures outlined in this enforcement action are egregious,” Blanco’s statement in a press release detailing the fine said. “Capital One willfully disregarded its obligations under the law in a high-risk business unit. Information received from financial institutions through the Bank Secrecy Act plays a critical role in protecting our national security. Depriving law enforcement of this information puts our nation and our people at risk. Capital One’s failures did just that.”
Bank Secrecy Act of 1970
The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 is legislation designed to prevent criminals from using financial institutions for money laundering purposes. The law, also known as the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act, requires banks and other financial institutions to alert authorities of suspicious activity and transactions.