Crackdown on Greenwashing

Lawmakers warn banks to quit helping criminals launder money

The words of contrition did not come easily to the banker. "The events of the past several weeks have taught us a painful lesson," conceded William Brown, chairman of the Bank of Boston (assets: $22 billion). What Brown learned was that the Government is serious in its crackdown on money laundering, a $100 billion-a-year practice by which legitimate businesses like banks accept piles of small bills from criminals in return for cashier's checks or other financial instruments.

Brown was the man on the spot last week when the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations held hearings on the mushrooming money-laundering problem. The message...

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