--The Treasury Department today released the following statement from Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. following his meeting with the semi-annual plenary of the Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group (BSAAG).
"I appreciate the hard work by the advisory group in helping to make the financial sector inhospitable to bad actors and their illicit funds. Terrorists, criminals, proliferators and other dangerous actors are continuously looking for cracks in our regulatory framework through which to move or store their funds without detection.
"As stewards of the financial system, we must always keep one step ahead of criminals to help protect our economic and national security. This includes remaining vigilant in protecting the financial system from abuse while continuing to address the current financial market turmoil.
"As representatives of the financial industry, regulatory community, and law enforcement, the advisory group is an important voice in the financial system. We will continue to work as partners to ensure that our financial system is safe, sound, and secure from abuse."
The Secretary of the Treasury was directed by Congress in 1992 to establish the BSAAG to actively solicit advice on the administration of the Bank Secrecy Act. The BSAAG consists of representatives from State and Federal regulatory and law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and trade groups. It is chaired by the director of Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and BSAAG membership is solicited via public notice in the Federal Register.