June 30, 2021

FinCEN publishes government-wide priorities to address AML and terrorism financing in US

On June 30, 2021, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued, for the first time, government-wide priorities addressing policies related to anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), based on consultations with other Department of the Treasury offices, as well as the Attorney General, federal functional regulators, and relevant state regulators, law enforcement and national security agencies.  FinCEN reports that the most significant AML/CFT threats in the US, in no particular order, are corruption, cybercrime, domestic and international terrorist financing, fraud, transnational criminal organizations, drug trafficking organizations, human trafficking and human smuggling, and proliferation financing.  FinCEN also issued to two AML/CFT priorities statements to provide federal banking agencies (FBAs) and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) with clarity on how to approach these priorities.

The published priorities and the accompanying statements were issued pursuant to the Ant-Money Laundering Act of 2020 that requires FinCEN to evaluate new and evolving AML/CFT threats at least once every four years, in an effort to improve the effectiveness of the US AML/CFT regime and help government intuitions appropriately assess their AML/CFT risks, modify their AML programs, and prioritize their resources.  While covered institutions are not required to make any immediate changes to their AML programs, FinCEN will propose implementing regulations in the coming months that may require institutions to incorporate the listed priorities into their compliance procedures.

FinCEN Press Release | FinCEN AML/CFT Priorities | Interagency Statement on AML/CFT Priorities for FBAs | FinCEN Statement on AML/CFT Priorities for NBFIs