Yellen: Funding Needed for FinCEN’s Beneficial Ownership Database, CDFIs

Ahead of the release of the president’s budget tomorrow, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told House appropriators that funding is needed for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to build its beneficial ownership database—something ABA has long advocated for. Congress authorized the creation of the database as part of a series of anti-money laundering reforms passed at the end of 2020, but Yellen noted that it “has not yet provided any funding to do it.”

Yellen also signaled that the White House could seek additional funding for community development financial institutions in its budget request. “Congress has dramatically expanded funding for CDFIs with supplemental appropriations—and rightly so. However, it is challenging for the CDFI Fund to distribute greater resources and scale these programs without additional administrative funding.”

In a recent letter, the American Bankers Association called on appropriations leaders to support a funding increase for the CDFI fund, including $100 million for the Bank Enterprise Award Program, given significant demand for the program and the increased need as the economy recovers from the effects of COVID-19.