Accurate, Accessible and Reliable Data from FinCEN Vital to Combating Illicit Finance

BPI submits recommendations to FinCEN as bureau implements beneficial ownership reporting requirements

Washington, D.C. — The Bank Policy Institute filed a comment letter with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network today expressing support for the bureau’s Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) implementation effort and proposing recommendations to the bureau as it begins to promulgate new rules and develop the FinCEN beneficial ownership directory. BPI shares the bureau’s commitment to combat illicit finance, and these contributions are intended to assist FinCEN in meeting those goals in a way that is most effective, accurate and useful to the many stakeholders on the front lines charged with preventing the flow of funds to terrorism, human trafficking and other heinous activities.

“A sensible rollout of the new AML and beneficial ownership rules will make it significantly easier to unravel criminal networks and throttle core financial conduits used by criminals,” remarked Angelena Bradfield, Senior Vice President of AML/BSA, Sanctions and Privacy at BPI. “The recommendations we propose in our comment letter are imperative to ensure that law enforcement, intelligence, national security agencies, financial institutions and federal functional regulators have the data and information they need to effectively do their jobs.”

Three key recommendations are included in the letter:

  1. FinCEN should implement necessary measures to maintain the quality of data stored in the FinCEN directory and verify input, namely beneficial ownership information, so that the directory remains a reliable, centralized source of information. Financial institutions that decide to use the directory should be able to rely on it to meet customer due diligence (CDD) and other AML requirements, with customer consent.
  2. CDD, Custom Identification Program requirements and new mandates under the CTA should be harmonized to align reporting obligations and address illicit finance risk to avoid duplicative efforts.
  3. FinCEN should broadly interpret what it means to be a “reporting company.” Illicit actors do not limit their nefarious activities to corporations or LLCs and, therefore, a narrow definition of who should and should not report may leave the door open to exploitation.

BPI has been engaged in efforts to modernize the U.S. anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism regime for almost half a decade and worked closely with Senate and House leadership throughout the introduction and final passage of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020, which includes the CTA. Efforts to enact this reform were made possible by engagement from a diverse coalition of partners, including non-profits fighting to end human trafficking and the exploitation of minors, national security expertslaw enforcement, business associations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commercefinancial services associations and nonpartisan advocacy organizations such as the FACT Coalition and Transparency International.

About Bank Policy Institute.

The Bank Policy Institute (BPI) is a nonpartisan public policy, research and advocacy group, representing the nation’s leading banks and their customers. Our members include universal banks, regional banks and the major foreign banks doing business in the United States. Collectively, they employ almost 2 million Americans, make nearly half of the nation’s small business loans, and are an engine for financial innovation and economic growth.

Media Contact:

Austin Anton
Bank Policy Institute

(202) 834.3414

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