September 16, 2020

FinCEN solicits comments on proposed amendments to Bank Secrecy Act regulations

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, seeking public comments on proposals designed to help align the anti-money laundering priorities of regulators and financial institutions, with the overall goal of upgrading and modernizing the national AML regime. 

The proposed rules point to innovations in the financial sector, and to FinCEN’s objective of ensuring that the BSA’s AML regime adapt to technological changes that have fostered new business models, products and services, while at the same time creating new threats of money laundering and terrorist financing.

The proposed amendments are the result of FinCen’s evaluation of recommendations developed by the Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group, and would establish a requirement that all covered financial institutions subject to AML program requirements maintain an “effective and reasonably designed” AML program.  The proposed rules seek to clarify the foundations of an effective and reasonably designed AML program.  Such a program should:

• Assess and manage risk using the financial institution’s risk assessment processes, while taking into consideration the AML priorities issued by FinCEN;
• Provide for compliance with the requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act
• Ensure the reporting of useful information to government authorities

The Advance Notice also asks for public input on FinCEN’s proposals to issue a list of national AML priorities every two years, and to create an explicit requirement for a risk assessment process.

FinCEN press release | Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking