WASHINGTON D.C. — This week, Congressman French Hill (AR-02), introduced H.R. 758, the Cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies and Watch Act, which provides protections for financial institutions against regulatory agency backlash due to cooperation with a federal or state law enforcement agency. Following introduction of the bill, Rep. Hill issued the following statement:
"More than ever, financial institutions have the potential to play a pivotal role in helping law enforcement bring criminals to justice. However, due to outdated regulations, banks that cooperate with law enforcement agencies risk being penalized by regulators while assisting with an ongoing criminal investigation.
"As a former community banker, I have dealt with this conflict of wanting to help law enforcement agencies when receiving a ‘Keep Open Letter,’ while not being able to because of the need to comply with the requirements set forth by a regulator. H.R. 758 is a commonsense solution that allows financial institutions and law enforcement to better cooperate in order to prosecute bad actors wanting to use the American financial system for their criminal acts."
The Cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies and Watch Act would provide protections for financial institutions against regulatory agency backlash due to cooperation with a federal or state law enforcement agency. Similar legislation was introduced by Rep. Hill in the 115th Congress that was overwhelmingly passed in the House by a vote of 379-4.