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Symposium #11

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The aim of this symposium is to provide a better understanding of border banking and alternative money services in the region. In order to achieve this the symposium will address the following areas:

Divergent legal structures in Texas, New Mexico, and Chihuahua govern banking and financial activity in the Paso del Norte region, ultimately impeding economic development and exacerbating national security risks. For example, retail banking, alternative financial services, and illicit financial flows must all comply with separate regulatory and quantitative systems, while lacking a common frame of reference. Both the business community and law enforcement are then faced with proximate but little understood markets and rules in the cross border region. While this fractures what would otherwise be a substantial economy of scale for the banking sector, it also provides cover for illegal transactions that can benefit trans-national criminal organizations and therefore pose a threat to the national security of both the United States and Mexico.

While commercial and savings banks in Texas and New Mexico are chartered and regulated by state and federal agents in the United States, those in the state of Chihuahua are only regulated by the national government. Alternative financial institutions are an option for customers lacking access to retail banking services (such as pay day lending and wire transfers), but because the services offered by these businesses have often originated from illicit activities, each bank and non-bank financial institution must develop and implement an anti-money laundering program and report their transaction data to the corresponding federal regulatory authority. Interpreting the implications that divergent legal systems have on banking and non-banking institutions in border regions as well as their underlying quantitative data is a key focal point of this symposium.


Patrick Schaefer, J.D. -  Executive Director for The Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness


PatrickPatrick is the Executive Director of the Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness, a regional resource located at the University of Texas at El Paso that produces detailed economic and legal analysis of the various markets that converge in the transboundary, Paso del Norte region. The Institute provides an open platform of regional databases, strategic sector analysis, comprehensive GIS sector mapping, and economic impact modeling in order to foster greater cohesion and resilience of the region’s markets by sharing with local, regional, and international stakeholders.

Prior to founding the Institute, Patrick held positions with the World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C., where he advised client-states on legal reforms to improve their commercial and financial sectors. In particular, his work centers on the comparative commercial, financial, and natural resource laws within the Ibero-American context, with a special emphasis on Mexico, Spain, Brazil, and Portugal. He received his J.D. from the University Of New Mexico School Of Law and his LL.M. from the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He has also studied at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, the Universidade de São Paulo, the Université Paris 1: Panthéon-Sorbonne, the Hague Academy for International Law, the Katholieke Universitiet Leuven, graduating magna cum laude, and St. John’s College, where he received his undergraduate degree.

His publications have dealt with international bankruptcy and trans-boundary natural resource management. He is an adjunct professor of NAFTA Law at the College of Business Administration at the University of Texas at El Paso and has coached two teams from the Law Faculty of the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez to two international arbitration competitions in Vienna and Los Angeles. Patrick is also an active member of the Instituto Mexicano de Ejecutivos de Finanzas, the New York and New Mexico bar, as well as the American Society of International Law and the International Law Association.

Download the powerpoint HERE.

Watch the Symposium Webcast
Criminal and Banking Law in the Paso del Norte by Patrick Schaefer, J.D.
Informal Financial Flows and Anti-Money Laundering Enforcement in the Paso del Norte by Patrick Schaefer, J.D.


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The Center for Law and Human Behavior
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The University of Texas at El Paso
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