NU Online News Service, April 24, 12:25 p.m. – The U.S. Treasury Department has decided to give insurers and some other financial services entities a deferral of up to six months on compliance with section 352 of the U.S. Patriot Act, a new law that governs financial institution efforts to fight money laundering.

Treasury is also making deferrals available to loan companies, finance companies, private bankers, and investment companies other than mutual funds.

The Patriot Act requires that all industries defined as financial institutions have anti-money laundering programs in place by April 24.

Treasury says it is offering the deferrals because it needs time to study the “complexities of requiring anti-money laundering programs” for the affected businesses.

However, Treasury notes that the affected businesses have an obligation to file reports of transactions involving cash or currency. It is also encouraging all institutions to voluntarily report possible money laundering and terrorist activity.

The financial services businesses not eligible for the deferrals include mutual fund companies, credit card companies, money transfer companies and check cashers.

Treasury says it expects its new money-laundering regulations to cover these industries. Businesses in these industries have 90 days to develop anti-money laundering programs.

Treasury is also excluding securities brokers, securities dealers and futures commissions merchants from the six-month deferral program.