A group of Bank Trade Groups have released a letter to Senate Armed Services Committee leadership voicing support for the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (S.Amdt.2198 to S.4049). The bill will play a key role in modernizing U.S. AML regulations. The full letter can be read below or downloaded here.
June 27, 2020
The Honorable James Inhofe Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services 205 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Jack Reed Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services 728 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
Dear Chairman Inhofe and Ranking Member Reed:
We write to encourage the Senate to act swiftly to pass meaningful legislation to end the abuse of anonymous shell companies and modernize anti-money laundering (AML) controls and expectations. Passage of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 is a top priority for the organizations listed below and we applaud the bipartisan efforts that have led to the bill’s consideration in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. This bill includes critical provisions for law enforcement investigations into organized transnational criminal operations, human trafficking, terrorism financing and other unlawful activity that threatens our national security.
Members of the Senate Banking Committee have worked in good faith with the Department of the Treasury, law enforcement, non-profit groups, and the financial services sector to find consensus on procedures that will close a massive loophole in our anti-money laundering framework. The resulting legislation to create a secure beneficial ownership registry of legal entities, held at the Financial Crimes
Enforcement Network, a bureau of the Treasury Department, represents the best path forward to provide law enforcement with needed information to pursue criminals looking to exploit our financial system. The bill strikes the right balance between imposing minimal requirements on small businesses and providing critical information to law enforcement and financial institutions. In addition, if enacted prior to the COVID outbreak, the bill could have assisted financial institution efforts to serve new customers under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.
The legislation also modernizes anti-money laundering controls and processes, which we believe will allow financial institutions to better assist law enforcement in its efforts to detect and deter financial crime and terrorism. Given the signs of increased illicit financial activity around COVID-19, Congress should act now to pass the Anti-Money Laundering Act as it will have a profound impact on preventing money laundering, human trafficking, drug smuggling, terrorism financing, fraud and other illicit activity.
We come together to support this legislation across the political spectrum, representing law enforcement, national security, district attorneys, and financial institutions, and encourage the leaders of both parties to support inclusion of the Anti-Money Laundering Act in S 4049. We thank Congress for its dedication to improving the AML/CFT structure.
American Bankers Association
Bank Policy Institute
Consumer Bankers Association
Credit Union National Association
Financial Services Forum
Independent Community Bankers of America
Institute of International Bankers
Mid-Sized Bank Coalition of America
National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader, United States Senate
The Honorable Charles Schumer, Minority Leader, United States Senate
The Honorable Mike Crapo, Chairman, Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
The Honorable Sherrod Brown, Ranking Member, Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs