Das: FinCEN priorities include rulemaking on AML, beneficial ownership

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is working on proposed regulatory amendments to ensure that anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism programs that incorporate the agency’s national priorities are effective, reasonably designed and consider the agency’s risk assessment program, Acting Director Himamauli Das said today during the ABA/ABA Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference. A top priority for FinCEN is the full implementation of the AML Act of 2020, and Das noted that the agency is currently working on a rulemaking based on initial AML/CFT priorities outlined in June.

“We encourage all of your institutions to assess your risk exposure to those priorities while we work on implementing regulations,” Das said. “We know that you’re anxious to see our proposal and we’re working hard to finalize it.”

Another priority for FinCEN is implementation of the Corporate Transparency Act’s beneficial ownership reporting provisions, Das said. The agency issued its first proposed rulemaking, which concerned reporting requirements, in September in September, which concerned reporting requirements. A second rulemaking concerning access protocols to the beneficial ownership database by law enforcement and financial institutions may be released before the end of the year, and work is currently underway on a third rulemaking concerning revisions to the customer due diligence rule, he said.

FinCEN is also working on a series of products to raise awareness of the new reporting requirements and educate businesses about their obligations, Das said, which will be available on the beneficial ownership page of FinCEN’s website. “We would encourage feedback on our guidance and FAQs and on the types of information that we need to get out,” he said.

Finally, Das noted that FinCEN also is taking a closer look at the elements of its AML/CFT framework applicable to virtual currency and digital assets to determine whether additional regulations or guidance are necessary, Das said. “This includes looking carefully at decentralized finance and its potential to reduce or eliminate the role of financial intermediaries that play a critical role in our AML/CFT efforts,” he said.