House Clears NDAA, Paving Way for BSA/AML Changes

By a bipartisan vote of 335 to 78 tonight, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2021, a bill that includes several critical improvements to anti-money laundering rules. Among other things, the bill directs the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to establish and maintain a national registry of beneficial ownership information that banks may in turn rely on when complying with customer due diligence requirements.

In remarks at the ABA/ABA Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference this morning, ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols noted that “these reforms will be a critical step forward in the ongoing fight to prevent bad actors from accessing the financial system.” He added that the bipartisan effort to amend BSA/AML rules “is a testament to what can happen when there’s an open, productive dialogue taking place between the private sector, government and law enforcement.”

Although President Trump has threatened to veto the NDAA over other provisions, the House vote margin was large enough to overcome a veto. The bill now goes to the Senate.