Monday, July 20, 2009

Terror Watch List Being Used To Deny Loans

It is according to this:

A guy of middle-eastern decent (born in Afghanistan) wants to buy a car. We agree on the price, he fills out a credit-ap and we run it. Rock Star, as we say in the biz, 815 FICO score with 92% of his current credit available. Well employed at a famous medical school for the last ten years. Should be “No Problem” getting him financed, right?

Wrong. His name brings up a flag on the American Patriot Act “terrorist watch list.” Well, his name is similar to other names on the list, so, banks are not allowed to loan money to him. It means he can’t get the car and I can’t get the sale.

Now, we all know that that list has over a million names on it. You remember, Sen. Frank Lautenberg wanted to prevent anyone whose name appeared on that list from being able to purchase a firearm even though the vast majority of those people have never been accused or convicted of anything. That’s one reason I oppose Lautenberg’s bill.

My own feeling is, the guy is well employed, here in this country legally. If he’s suspect, they should investigate. Otherwise, why can’t he do what other free residents are able to do? Like, buy a car? Either he is or he isn’t. In-between leaves him in limbo and that is not fair to him.

Remember, this is the same list that has had several senators on it.

1 comment:

Chris Byrne said...

I'm chief architect for one of the large divisions of a major bank.

In particular, the division I'm chief architect for, is (among many other thing) responsible for the systems which update, track, initiate investigations on etc... "suspicious transactions".

Actually, it's not the no fly list; it's a different watch list that the feds give us, and update periodically.

We are required by federal law to verify all transactions against the list, and flag any transaction associated with the identifying information on the list (it's not just names). We are required to hold any transaction between multiple individuals on the list until an investigation is conducted.

There are a number of other requirements, processes, and procedures we have to go through. However, we don't deny credit, or in fact make any kind of discretionary decisions based on the information the FedGov provides us. In fact, that information isn't available to any individual or system in the bank, except those directly involved. It would be a crime to use that information for any other purpose.