FinCEN to Launch Innovation Initiative

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network will launch a new innovation initiative to foster a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges of new technologies for enhancing Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering efforts, FinCEN Director Ken Blanco told attendees at the American Bankers Association’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference today.

This effort — announced a day after the financial regulatory agencies issued a joint statement encouraging banks to pursue innovative solutions that can enhance their BSA/AML programs — will involve engagement with banks, tech providers and other stakeholders to discuss the implications of new products or services and discuss future applications or next steps, Blanco said.

Blanco also discussed the agency’s efforts for updating the BSA/AML framework, noting that “we are committing to updating the regulations as necessary to ensure that the BSA regime is an effective and efficient as possible.” In the days ahead, FinCEN will work to clarify the risk-based approach to the examination process; clarify that “there is no zero-tolerance approach to BSA enforcement”; incentivize financial institutions to devote resources to priority illicit finance threats; and develop concrete ways to highlight the value of BSA data across stakeholders, he added.