Rep. Royce Circulates Draft Bill to Modernize Anti-Money Laundering Laws
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA), circulated draft legislation, the Anti-Money Laundering Modernization Act, which strengthens the United States anti-money laundering (AML) and countering terrorism financing (CTF) system. Rep. Royce is seeking comments from stakeholders and bipartisan support to move this bill forward.
“Our nation’s anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing regime has been a 40-year work in progress and there is increasing recognition that it needs to be modernized,” said Rep. Royce. “The guiding principle of our anti-money laundering regime must be to protect the national security of the United States and our allies, as well as the integrity of the international financial system. In order to accomplish this end, our regulatory infrastructure must keep pace with the times. Criminal syndicates, rogue nations and terrorist networks are not sitting idly by, and neither can we.”
In July, Representatives Royce and Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) sent a letter to the Treasury Secretary with several recommendations for improving the U.S. AML regime. Several of their recommendations are contained in this draft legislation, including adjusting for inflation the thresholds for filing suspicious activity reports (SARs) and currency transaction reports (CTRs) which haven’t been updated since 1996 and 1972, respectively. Doing so would reduce the number of filings which now total over 55,000 per day and allow FinCEN to prioritize those of the highest law enforcement and national security consequence. The draft bill furthermore would expand the ability of financial institutions to share suspicious activity reports within their organization to improve enterprise-wide risk management and require the Treasury Department to improve qualitative feedback for financial institutions and Federal financial regulators on their AML/CTF efforts. Lastly, the legislation would improve FinCEN’s administrative rulings process and require Treasury to explore the potential for artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other technologies to help detect and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.