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NYCH Promotes "Best Practices" for Managing Correspondent Banks

The New York Clearing House issues guidelines to help the international financial community combat illegal activities.

The New York Clearing House issued guidelines on "best practices" to help the international financial community combat illegal activities taking place in the U.S. financial system.

The guidelines includes suggested account opening procedures, due diligence and enhanced due diligence checklists, and examples of possible suspicious correspondent account activity.

The guidelines conform to the mandates of the USA PATRIOT Act, and will be maintained as a "living document," said Norm Nelson, general counsel of the Clearing House. They were drafted by a committee consisting mainly of compliance officers from the New York Clearing House member banks, which consist of: ABN AMRO, Bank of America, The Bank of New York, Bank One, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, FleetBoston, HSBC, J.P. Morgan Chase, Wachovia and Wells Fargo.

However, the best practices are intended for the entire financial community. "We're very pleased to get these guidelines out, and we hope that they will be widely reviewed and adopted by banks," said Nelson. "As we put them into practice and see ways to improve them, we certainly intend to do that."

The document, "Guidelines for Counter Money Laundering Policies and Procedures in Correspondent Banking," is available on the Web site of the New York Clearing House, at

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