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Celebrating BSA/AML Day

October 25, 2021
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BSA/AML Day was created by Abrigo in 2017 to honor the hard work BSA/AML professionals do each and every day to protect our financial industry and country. It is often a thankless job that operates behind the scenes and under strict regulatory scrutiny. We want BSA/AML professionals to know how much we appreciate the work they do to fight financial crime and stop illicit funds from entering our financial system.

To celebrate BSA/AML Day, we wanted to share the great work BSA/AML professionals are doing in their jobs to stop financial criminals:

"A couple of years ago I noticed an elderly customer wired out $25,000 marked 'new roof.' The wire beneficiary was not a company and whenever I see new roof or new driveway it raises a red flag. The next day a front line staffer called to say the customer was in the branch wanting to withdraw $30,000. He was accompanied by his son and appeared a little confused. I had the teller say we needed to order the funds, but he could come back in the morning and it would be ready for him. The 'son' seemed in a hurry to get the cash and we told him it would be ready by 10:00 a.m. Our Loss Prevention department viewed the outside cameras and showed the 'son' getting into a pickup that had another man in it and our customer getting into his own car. Loss Prevention contacted our customer's real son (who is older than the 'son' who came in the branch). The son confirmed there was no work being performed on his father's house and, with Loss Prevention's help, contacted the police. The next day when our customer and the false son came into the branch, detectives were waiting and the outcome was an arrest and jail time. Unfortunately they could not recover the $25,000, but it could have been worse as our customer had over $100,000 in his account."

-Christene Robinson, West Suburban Bank

“I am proud to be a BSA compliance professional because it makes me feel as though I am an integral part of the detection and prevention of money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes. My desire to create change happened the day of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. On that day, I was working at a financial institution as a teller. Those tragic events left me feeling helpless and heartbroken. The desire to help all of those victims and family members was overwhelming, but I was at a loss as to what I could do to make a difference. When the opportunity to be promoted from within my organization to a BSA Officer presented itself, I accepted. I knew it would provide me with the ability to make a difference. I now had the opportunity to detect, deter, and mitigate financial crimes and form partnerships with various law enforcement agencies in the hopes of preventing future terrorist attacks. My position fills me with a sense of pride, and it enables me to contribute to the protection of others.”

- Julie Hearn-Nicely, Firstrust Savings Bank

“Transactions were detected on an elderly individual’s account that was outside the normal activity for the customer. The customer appeared to be involved in a scam. Reporting this activity to the appropriate agency saved the customer from suffering a great financial loss. For this reason, I educate the elderly community as well as civic groups on scam activity and elder financial exploitation.”

– Jacqueline Wells, The Farmers & Merchants State Bank

“Working in BSA/AML there are a number of successes. Just start talking to anyone in the field and you will have stories for days. In the past year, I found myself going from working with a team that I had the pleasure of working with for many years to having almost an entirely new staff. It has only been about ten months or so with all the new members of the team, and it feels like they have been with the bank forever. Everyone works like a well-oiled machine, and we are getting projects completed that we thought we would never get the chance to complete. If you work in BSA, you know you never have the right amount of staff and there are always items on your to do list, so getting these done was a great accomplishment. These new members have contributed immensely to the department with new ideas and ways of completing our tasks. Not to mention that we have been doing this with a large portion of the time working remotely, due to COVID-19. I feel a great deal of accomplishment in myself and the entire team knowing that we have even gotten to the level that we complete all of the alerts in our monitoring system and are up-to-date with all items which allow for that extra time to work on special projects without stressing about getting a dozen other things done. I am submitting this story on behalf of the Byline Bank BSA team which has taken all the hurdles thrown at us and come out a winner. I am proud to be a member of the team and appreciate the hard work everyone puts in daily.”

- Arlene Mejias, Byline Bank

From all of us at Abrigo, thank you for everything you do to protect our financial system.

To learn more about BSA/AML Day, visit the website.

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