CBA, Financial Trades Write HFSC on Anti-Money Laundering Legislation

Nick Simpson

 

CBA, Financial Trades Write HFSC on Anti-Money Laundering Legislation

 

WASHINGTON – The Consumer Bankers Association, along with eight other financial services trades, today wrote House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) in support of the Committee’s work to modernize the anti-money laundering and counterterrorism regulatory system. The letter also states CBA’s support for  H.R. 2513, the Corporate Transparency Act of 2019, and urges swift, bipartisan passage of the bill, which would create a secure beneficial ownership directory held by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

 

CBA President and CEO Richard Hunt said, “CBA member banks commit significant resources to stopping illicit financial transactions and believe modernizing the current regulatory framework would allow financial institutions to do even more to combat money-laundering and terrorist financing activities. Modernizing these laws would produce additional useful information for law enforcement, allow resources to be directed where they are most needed, and ensure regulatory requirements appropriately serve as an effective tool in preventing criminals from accessing the financial system.”

 

CBA encourages the Committee to pass legislation that would require beneficial ownership information to be collected and verified by a government agency before corporate owners attempt to access the financial system at account opening. Stronger laws governing beneficial ownership information will better equip financial institutions with reliable and useful information at account opening, lessen the burden on financial institutions to collect and verify this information, and prevent criminals from accessing the financial system under a cloak of secrecy.

 

“While multiple proposals have been introduced in Congress to address illicit activity through shell corporations, we believe H.R. 2513 strikes the right balance between imposing minimal requirements on small businesses while providing important information to law enforcement and financial institutions performing due diligence (a semi-law enforcement function),” the letter states.

 

The associations also called for support of Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s (D-Mo.) legislation, H.R. 2514, to modernize the Bank Secrecy Act regulatory framework, noting the “bill is a strong step in the right direction to facilitate information sharing and feedback from law enforcement to financial institutions and further facilitate information sharing between financial institutions as well as encourage the use of technology and artificial intelligence within institutions’ AML programs.”

 

On H.R. 2514, the letter did raise concerns Section 211 of the bill could be used to politicize and second-guess the judicial process.

 

A full copy of the letter is available here.

 

In addition to CBA, the letter was signed by the American Bankers Association, Bankers Association for Finance and Trade, Bank Policy Institute, Financial Services Forum, Institute of International Bankers, Institute of International Finance, Mid-Size Bank Coalition of American and Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

 

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About the Consumer Bankers Association:

The Consumer Bankers Association represents America’s leading retail banks. We promote policies to create a stronger industry and economy. Established in 1919, CBA’s corporate member institutions account for 1.7 million jobs in America, extend roughly $4 trillion in consumer loans and provide $275 billion in small business loans annually. Follow us on Twitter @consumerbankers.