FinCEN Seeks Input on Creation of Beneficial Ownership Database

As part of its efforts to implement provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2021—the first significant changes to Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering rules in almost two decades—the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is seeking public input on the creation of a national beneficial ownership database. Comments on the advance notice of proposed rulemaking are due by May 5.

The creation of the database was a key component of the Corporate Transparency Act—an ABA-supported bill that was included in the broader package of BSA/AML reforms. Under the CTA, corporations, limited liability companies and similar entities will now be required to report certain information about their beneficial owners, which will be stored in a confidential, secure and non-public database maintained by FinCEN.

In addition, the law authorizes FinCEN to disclose certain beneficial ownership under certain circumstances to recipients including federal law enforcement. It also directs FinCEN to revise certain existing customer due diligence requirements for banks to reflect the changes to beneficial ownership reporting. ABA is forming a working group to discuss the proposed changes and develop a comment letter.