April 25, 2016

Jenner & Block Partner Neil M. Barofsky wrote an editorial for and was interviewed by Bloomberg regarding the US Treasury Department’s proposed identification requirement that would require banks to gather basic information about the owners of new bank accounts held by shell companies. 

Titled “US Treasury Takes a Stand for Transparency,” Mr. Barofsky’s editorial in Bloomberg View argues that the reform makes sense and already is required in sophisticated financial centers throughout the world.  Mr. Barofsky observes that the proposed rule would be good for everyone, including the banks it intends to regulate.  “Compliance with the rule will help support regulatory efforts to better shape the culture of US banks, by forcing them to take responsibility for truly knowing their customers.  More importantly, when you balance the benefits of more effective policing of criminal activities with the costs of an additional compliance burden, the trade-off seems modest,” he writes.

In a segment on “Bloomberg Surveillance,” Mr. Barofsky says that the reform is a “good step, and it’s encouraging that Treasury is moving on it.”

Finally, “Bloomberg Surveillance” also spoke with Mr. Barofsky about his tenure as the first special inspector general of the historic US$700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program from 2008-2011.   He calls the role one highlight of his career and observes that “we’re probably safer than we were in 2008.”