A post on the Compliance & Enforcement blog from the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at the New York University School of Law on 27 October is concerned with an initiative from FinCEN seeking comments on how to improve the effectiveness of AML programmes that financial institutions are required to have in place under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). FinCEN proposes imposing a requirement that certain financial institutions establish and maintain an “effective and reasonably designed” AML programme that would contain 3 core elements and objectives –
- the assessment and management of risk;
- compliance with BSA requirements; and
- the reporting of information with a high degree of usefulness to the government.
Current regulations do not fully describe the objective of maintaining a BSA/AML compliance programme. The post says that the initiative provides a meaningful opportunity not only for financial institutions and their trade organisations, but also for institutions that are not (yet) required to establish and maintain AML programmes but are directly affected by AML compliance (such as investment advisors, providers of virtual assets or cryptocurrencies that are not considered to be money transmitters, or fintech companies in general), to participate in and significantly shape future AML compliance requirements. In particular, it says, it is important that FinCEN receive detailed comments and suggestions from all sectors on the specific questions posed by FinCEN.
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