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Guest Blogger: Cole McCollum


Have you ever considered how many “special agents” you have walking around your Credit Union on a day-to-day basis?

Perspective changes everything. It adds color and life to the black and white and mundane. In the words of John Keating, the famous English teacher of The Dead Poets Society, “Just when you think you know something, you have to look at it another way. Even though it may seem silly or wrong, you must try.”

You may know your Credit Union like the back of your hand. Maybe you’ve worked there for decades. Or perhaps you are just now getting your hands into the rich soil of Credit Union-Land. Regardless, perspective changes everything. So consider this:

  • According to the FBI, approximately 18% (if not more) of international terrorism cases are directly related to BSA filings.

  • According to the Office of Homeland Security, the only way to stop ISIS and other terrorist organizations is to cut off their money supply.

  • BSA - the Bank Secrecy Act - is intended to combat illicit transactions and directly connects local financial institutions with anti-terrorism efforts abroad.


From the perspective of the Bank Secrecy Act, reconsider the opening question: Have you ever considered how many “special agents” you have walking around your Credit Union on a day-to-day basis? 

Each and every Credit Union employee has a role in fulfilling BSA requirements, and thus combating terrorism. One need only view pictures from 9/11 - or for that matter, the evening news - to be reminded of how important this fight is. Want to make a personal, immediate difference? Want your work to matter in the fight against ISIS and other terror organizations? Champion BSA compliance!

Certainly, the Compliance Officer is the most direct contact for all things BSA. However, each and every Credit Union employee has a role and responsibility to leverage their position for the keeping of BSA requirements. Ensuring transactions over $10,000 are reported on CTRs, notifying appropriate management in regards to suspicious actions or individuals...all have the potential to directly impact the war on terror, in all its forms. There is no such thing as an unrelated Credit Union role, in this fight. BSA compliance is directly impacted by all Credit Union staff, from the front-line to the back office. Attentiveness, communication, and an eye for the odd...all are important characteristics for Credit Union Special-Ops. 

Want your job with your local Credit Union to make a difference in the war on terror? Look no further than the BSA. Know it, keep it, champion it! For the sake of our communities, our country, and our world. It’s one reason why I’m acquiring my BSA certification through CUNA. Regardless of the route you take, realize your part to play in the BSA!