FinCEN to consider revising beneficial ownership reporting mechanism

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is considering a “revised approach” to the form it plans to use to collect beneficial ownership information after American Bankers Association members and other stakeholders raised concerns about the original proposal, according to a new notice posted by the agency.

FinCEN initially proposed a form for companies to report required information to the agency that allowed incomplete responses. However, ABA members and others said that instead of supplying all the key data, companies could report “unknown,” “unable to identify all company applicants” and “unable to identify all beneficial owners” as responses. In the new notice, FinCEN said it intends to require every field to be completed, and that BOI report forms can only be submitted once each required field has been filled out. “Any field left blank, whether intentionally or accidentally, will prevent the filer from submitting their [BOI report] form,” the agency said.

FinCEN said it will reassess the approach after several months, as it anticipates that some companies will have difficulties timely obtaining all the required information. At that time, with filer and law enforcement feedback, FinCEN may consider an “alternate implementation” in which filers could submit incomplete forms as a temporary measure, provided they use a drop-down option to choose among a list of reasons why they are temporarily unable to provide certain BOI information. The agency is seeking public feedback on the revised reporting mechanism, with a deadline of Oct. 30.