Archive for Thursday, October 11, 2001

Financial institutions check for terrorist transactions

Lawrence banks, credit unions heed directives

October 11, 2001

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Lawrence banks and credit unions are among those checking their records for connections to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on America.

The National Credit Union Administration sent members a notice last week asking them to check for "any relationships or transactions" with a list of 21 suspects in the attacks.

Mark Humphries, chief operating officer of KU Credit Union, said he ordered his staff to comply with the directive.

"I think this is an extraordinary circumstance," Humphries said. "We, like a lot of others, probably view the world a little differently today than we did before Sept. 11."

Humphries said credit unions already have systems in place to alert officials to suspicious transactions mainly those that give the appearance of being part of a money-laundering operation.

Banks in Lawrence are also reviewing records.

"We received the directive, and we responded accordingly," said Chuck Warner, president of Firstar Bank in Lawrence. "It was no big deal, (but) it was a prudent thing to do."

Humphries said his institution has also reviewed its disaster plans in the aftermath of the attacks. Most of those plans were formulated as a response to Y2K fears that computer systems would crash with the advent of the new century.

The plans are adaptable to new scenarios, Humphries said.

"We feel confident," he said, "that we have the mechanisms in place to deal with any unforeseen event."

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