Legend for Icons
 Article    Q&A

 Podcast  Video

 Blog  Discussions

PDF    Powerpoint Web

  Home >> Accounts >> Business Accounts  
MSBs Opening Accounts

Why is there such a reluctance for banks to open accounts for MSBs (Money Services Businesses)? We are a check cashing business. How do we go about finding a bank that is willing to open an account for a check casher?

Although some bankers are getting more comfortable "banking" MSB accounts, there are still many banks that are concerned about the additional responsibility and risk they would take on if they knowingly accepted MSB depositors. Bank regulators have gotten a lot better at setting their expectations of banks accepting accounts from this line of business, but that was not always so. The rules of the game were so undefined that many banks could not figure out what was expected of them. To many others, the perceived expectations were so onerous as to drive a wedge between banks and potential (and existing) MSB accounts.

The level of monitoring and scrutiny that is expected of bankers who accept MSB accounts is still too much for some banks. Some may not have the resources to address those expectations. Others don't have the experience, and, yes, some don't want to risk any regulatory criticism of their Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering efforts, so they have decided to steer clear of MSBs altogether.

As noted, there are banks that accept accounts from MSBs. Most with experience in this arena require that an MSB consolidate all banking business with them, to make their monitoring tasks less complicated. Probably the best way to find an MSB-friendly bank is to use the telephone. You can also inquire of other nearby MSBs to find out where they get their banking services.

Published on 9/13/06