The international investigationinto alleged money laundering at the Bank of New York is prompting U.S.banks to review their relationships with foreign banks and scrutinize proceduresfor detecting suspicious financial transactions, according to banking attorneys.
But despite the concernsraised by the $10 billion scandal, attorneys say it is difficult for financialinstitutions to catch criminals who use bank accounts to convert illegalfunds into legitimate ones. The task is particularly formidable for Americanbanks that carry accounts for foreign banks. Such U.S. banks are oftenprecluded by foreign law from obtaining information about a foreign bank’scustomers. Thus, American bankers are forced to rely on foreign bankersto vouch for the legitimacy of their deposits.