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FinCEN Seeks Comments on Modernization of U.S. AML/CFT Regulatory Regime

WASHINGTON— Today, FinCEN is issuing a request for information (RFI) Federal Register :: Public Inspection: Review of Bank Secrecy Act Regulations and Guidance seeking comments on ways to streamline, modernize, and update the anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime of the United States.  FinCEN is particularly interested in comments on ways to modernize risk-based AML/CFT regulations and guidance, issued pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) so that they, on a continuing basis, protect U.S. national security in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  Today’s RFI also supports FinCEN’s efforts to conduct a formal review of BSA regulations and related guidance, which is required by Section 6216 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020.  FinCEN will report to Congress the findings of the review, including administrative and legislative recommendations.   

“We recognize that the illicit finance threat landscape continues to evolve and that technology and innovation now play an important role in the efficient application of resources to combat illicit finance.  I urge all relevant stakeholders to review the RFI and comment on ways that FinCEN can modernize AML/CFT regulations and guidance and better promote a risk-based approach to AML/CFT compliance,” said FinCEN Acting Director Himamauli Das.

This formal review will help FinCEN ensure that BSA regulations and guidance continue to safeguard the U.S. financial system from threats to national security posed by various forms of financial crime, and that BSA reporting and recordkeeping requirements continue to be highly useful in countering financial crime.  The formal review also will allow FinCEN to identify regulations and guidance that are outdated, redundant, or otherwise do not promote a risk-based AML/CFT compliance regime for financial institutions, or that do not conform with U.S. commitments to meet international AML/CFT standards.  In consultation with specified stakeholders, FinCEN will make appropriate changes to regulations and guidance, as appropriate, to improve their efficiency.  In addition, the formal review will assist FinCEN in identifying recommendations for administrative and legislative changes.

FinCEN strongly encourages all interested parties (including regulated entities; state, local, and Tribal governments; law enforcement; regulators; and other consumers of BSA data) to submit written comments, which will help inform FinCEN’s report to Congress.  Comments should be submitted by February 14, 2022.

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