FinCEN to Address Enhancing the Effectiveness of Anti-Money Laundering Programs

In case you missed it, back in September, FinCEN published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on Enhancing the Effectiveness of Anti-Money Laundering Programs.  This ANPRM seeks comment on some potential regulatory amendments that would require financial institutions to maintain an “effective and reasonably designed” anti-money laundering (AML) program.

Currently, there is no specific, consistent, regulatory definition for what constitutes an “effective and reasonably designed” AML program.  FinCEN believes that incorporating and defining this requirement would allow financial institutions to allocate resources more efficiently and better align the industry with government priorities.  They also believe this can be achieved with very little additional burden on existing, compliant AML programs.

The ANPRM also addresses potential changes regarding risk assessments.  Specifically, the ANPRM seeks comment on making a risk assessment a regulatory requirement, as well as what it will need to include.  Even though a risk assessment process is seen as being key to ensuring an effective AML program, it is not currently required.  The risk assessment is a critical element of a reasonably designed program because, in order to achieve compliance with the recordkeeping and reporting requirements of the BSA, an institution needs to understand its risk profile.

The ANPRM issued eleven questions for comments related to these items.  Comments are due by November 16, 2020.

Stay tuned!

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