FACT Applauds Push to Appropriate More Funds for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Sens. Whitehouse (D-RI) and Grassley (R-IA) published a letter signed by 23 bipartisan Senators addressed to congressional appropriators to urge increased funding for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). FinCEN is the bureau of the Treasury Department that sets U.S. anti-money laundering policy; works with financial institutions to safeguard inroads to the U.S. economy; and analyzes financial data used by other agencies in sanctions enforcement, criminal prosecutions, and civil cases.
Ian Gary, executive director of the FACT Coalition, issued the following statement:
“Senators Whitehouse and Grassley have led a bipartisan call to increase funding to the United States’ financial crime fighters at a critical time, especially as the U.S. has newly risen in the ranks as the top supplier of financial secrecy in the world – fueling more financial secrecy than Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, and Bermuda combined.
“Treasury officials estimate that illicit funds equaling 2 percent of U.S. gross domestic product flow through the U.S. economy each year. That means that in 2021, those illicit funds would have totaled an estimated $460 billion. That figure dwarves the resources provided to law enforcement and national security officials tasked with protecting the integrity of the U.S. financial system.
“The Biden Administration has made significant commitments to right the course on U.S. financial secrecy and fight corruption at home and abroad, including by implementing the bipartisan Corporate Transparency Act that effectively ends the abuse of anonymous U.S. shell entities. FACT has called for final rules implementing the law by the end of this year and an effective directory no later than January 1, 2024. It’s now up to Congress to fund that effort.
“Congress is taking a significant step by including $52 million in Treasury appropriations as part of a Ukraine aid package slated to pass later this week. Congress should also approve the President’s FinCEN budget request of $210.3 million for the 2023 fiscal year, and enable FinCEN to address both short-term and long-term secrecy threats to the U.S. financial system.”
Note to the Editor:
- The 2022 Financial Secrecy Index, launched today, named the U.S. as the top supplier of financial secrecy in the world.
- FACT Press Release on the 2022 Financial Secrecy Index.
- A similar bipartisan appropriations letter urging FinCEN funding was led in the House by Rep. Spanberger (D-VA), with 27 colleagues.
- Bipartisan Senate leaders, led by Sens. Warren (D-MA), Whitehouse (D-RI), and Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to FinCEN last week urging the bureau to swiftly implement the Corporate Transparency Act, especially as the U.S. seeks to enforce sanctions in light of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. The Senators asked for an update from FinCEN on timing to implement the law by May 23, 2022.
- President Biden’s FY2023 Budget Request (p. 98).
- Congress’s FY2022 final approved budget, including a supplemental for Ukraine (p. 478, p. 1842).
- In December, the White House released a first-ever anti-corruption strategy. Treasury recently released its 2022 National Strategy for Combating Terrorist and Other Illicit Financing, generally highlighting the same priorities and creating a timeline for advancing these reforms.
- FACT Sheet for Congress on Emergency Treasury Funding Needs re: Ukraine Crisis and FY2023.