AML Bill Tabled Over Disagreement on Shell-Company Restrictions
On Thursday, the 14th of June, the House Financial Services Committee tabled a vote on a bill to ease anti-money laundering (AML) requirements because Representatives disagreed about the exclusion of new restrictions on shell-company.
The proposed legislation, which was introduced by Republicans Blaine Luetkemeyer and Steve Pearce, would increase the dollar amount that triggers banks to file suspicious activity reports (SARs) and currency transaction reports (CTRs).
The bill notably excluded a requirement, which was discussed in a bipartisian meeting earlier this week, for new companies to provide "beneficial-owner" information to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) upon incorporation. This omission caused many Committee reps to retract their support.
The concept of beneficial-owner rules is rooted in transparency. By requiring corporate founders to disclose their true identities, FinCEN thwarts criminals from secretly operating shell companies. In May, a new "know your customer" rule went into effect & requires banks to collect beneficial-owner info from new accountholders.
Democratic Representative Maxine Waters (AKA Auntie Maxine) issued a statement to the Committee; it reads in part: "I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to strengthen the bill and make sure that it addresses the issue of beneficial ownership and the problem of anonymous shell companies...Currently, it can be very difficult to identify who the beneficial owner of a company is, which allows bad actors to circumvent U.S. laws to launder and hide money, or to exert influence."