Establish central beneficial ownership registries and outlaw bearer shares US senator tells FATF

The lead author of the US’ anti-money laundering (AML) act of 2020, senator Sheldon Whitehouse, is urging the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to strengthen its standards for countries to gather important data in the fight against money laundering.

The FATF is currently updating its international AML standards that are designed to coordinate a global response to the challenge of stemming financial flows attached to organised crime, terrorism and corruption.

Two priorities

In a letter to FATF president Marcus Pleyer, Whitehouse says he wants the intergovernmental AML watchdog to require all countries to provide transparent beneficial ownership information and outlaw the use of bearer shares.

He says these two steps in particular are vital to the transparency necessary “to halt the advance of kleptocracy and corruption against democracies and the rule of law.”

Beneficial ownership

Whitehouse wants all countries to establish central registries for beneficial ownership information on the real person behind shell corporations.

Specifically, we wants the FATF to disallow countries the option to create “alternative mechanisms” to central registries of beneficial ownership information.

Bearer shares

The senator also calls for the timely conversion of existing bearer shares – considered to be owned by those who have a share in their possession rather than by a named person – into registered, traceable forms.

He wants the task force to mandate that countries convert all anonymous bearer shares and warrants into registered entities within a year or two.

Senator’s credentials

Whitehouse is a recognised leader in the fight against kleptocracy and international corruption and was a lead author of the ground breaking AML act of 2020 law to collect beneficial ownership information to aid US law enforcement in cracking down on money laundering.

He has also authored a range of bills to combat international corruption and illicit finance.

The full text of Whitehouse’s letter to Pleyer can be found here.


Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

Tags: , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: