The workshop follows a letter sent by Senators McCain and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) in February urging the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs to hold a hearing on community and business access to banking services in states on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I am pleased that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has agreed to hold an educational workshop in Nogales to examine banking access in communities along the Arizona Border,” said Senator John McCain. “In recent months, Arizonans who own and operate cash-intensive business along Arizona’s southern border, have expressed concern about access to banking. This workshop will cover a wide range of issue relevant to border banking, including compliance with anti-money laundering regulations, and will serve as a valuable resource to bankers and businesses whose livelihoods heavily depend on cross-border transactions.”
Paul Hickman, President of the Arizona Bankers Association, also applauded the workshop: “We are grateful the FDIC is focusing on Anti-money Laundering/Bank Secrecy Act compliance issues with bankers and businesses on the border. A better understanding of supervisory expectations on the part of the banking industry and the business community on the border can only improve the financial infrastructure and legitimate commercial ecosystem that is essential for commerce and economic growth in the region.”
In September 2014, Senators McCain sent letters to the heads of four large banks – Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo – requesting information about several branch closures, which have created higher transaction costs and substantial difficulties for Arizona companies engaged in cash-intensive lines of business in cities and towns along the U.S.-Mexico border.