FinCEN sets out its anti-money laundering priorities



New expanded anti-money laundering (AML) priorities for financial institutions were recently announced by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the US Treasury Department (FinCEN).

The government watchdog said the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has advised that the focus of compliance resources should target corruption and cybercrime, according to a FinCEN Press release. Priorities include corruption, cybercrime, financing of foreign and domestic terrorism, fraud, human trafficking, proliferation financing and the activities of transnational criminal organizations and drug trafficking organizations.

The priority list is the first FinCEN published and follows the January overhaul of anti-money laundering legislation. New laws passed by Congress instructed FinCEN to create a blueprint to prevent the financing of money laundering and terrorism, and update the priorities every four years, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

“It was a real opportunity to focus financial intelligence in the United States in a way that could create better results for everyone,” said a former FinCEN official. Jeremy Kuester told the WSJ.

“Prioritization is the way to do it, but they are not priorities, they are just general topics,” he added. Kuester is currently working as a lawyer at the law firm White & Case LLP.

Globally, the cost of financial crime compliance is estimated to be nearly $ 214 billion in 2021, the WSJ reported, citing a survey by LexisNexis Risk Solutions. Some 3 million suspicious activity reports are filed with FinCEN each year.

“Much work remains to be done to transform these priorities into rules for implementing these priorities in anti-money laundering programs, but we look forward to working with FinCEN and see the announcement as a first step. encouraging ” Angelena Bradfield, a senior vice president of the Bank Policy Institute, told the WSJ.

the FBI said earlier in June that it was stepping up its approach to find hackers, an edict that has raised concerns among some civil liberties advocates. The new tactics could come from the recent attack on Microsoft Exchange mail servers.

the digital first The economy that accelerated during the pandemic has attracted cybercriminals who are well versed in the best ways to scam money from unsuspecting novice individuals and businesses.

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