US committee reaches bipartisan agreement on AML/CFT amendments

Members of the US Senate Banking Committee have reached a bipartisan agreement on an amendment to improve coordination among the agencies tasked with administering anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements.

The amendment also seeks to make the beneficial ownership of US companies more transparent.

Modernising AML/CFT laws

Improved coordination amongst the agencies that examine financial institutions for compliance with AML requirements, federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies as well as financial institutions is called for by the amendment.

It also outlines plans to modernise AML/CFT laws to adapt the government and private sector response to new and emerging threats and encourage technological innovation and the adoption of new technology by financial institutions to more effectively counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

IFFs and shell companies

The amendment also calls for the establishment of uniform beneficial ownership information reporting requirements to improve transparency for national security, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies concerning corporate structures and insight into illicit fund flows (IFFs) through those structures.

Newly incorporated companies and limited liability corporations would be required to send ownership details to the US treasury department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which would maintain a database that law enforcers could use to better track IFFs through opaque legal entities.

Closed database

The database would not be open to the public and is designed with the purpose of  discouraging the use of shell corporations as a tool to disguise illicit funds.

The amendment also calls for the creation of a new whistleblower fund and a review of suspicious activity reporting thresholds. 

The amendment, Strengthening Treasury Financial Intelligence, Anti-money Laundering, and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Programmes, can be found here.



Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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