The United States has been ranked the most secretive financial jurisdiction in the world for the first time, according to the 2022 Financial Secrecy Index (FSI), a comprehensive study from the Tax Justice Network launched in the U.S. by the FACT Coalition on May 17th
On April 28th, Himamauli Das, Acting Director of FinCEN, appeared before the House Committee on Financial Services in an important oversight hearing to provide an update on FinCEN’s implementation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (AML Act), including the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA).
This month, Treasury Secretary Yellen appeared before the House Financial Services Committee and responded to concerns over the Corporate Transparency Act’s (CTA) delayed implementation. In her answer, Yellen assured lawmakers that the second of the CTA’s three required rulemakings would be drafted “this year, in the coming months.”
The Kremlin’s continued, barbaric invasion of Ukraine has shone a light on the paramount importance of providing support for sanctions enforcement and closing the blindspots to corrupt and illicit flows in our financial system. Underfunding and understaffing threaten to take the bite out of sanctions and give Putin cover from the West’s best financial tools to counter Russia’s illegal aggression.
Reforms advocated for by FACT, including those pertaining to beneficial ownership of anonymous shell entities, removing opacity from the U.S. real estate, private investment, and other luxury goods markets, and promoting greater tax transparency can bring the economic weight of new sanctions to bear. The U.S. must work expediently with its allies to permanently close financial gateways for Russia’s political elite to hide and grow their illicit wealth.
The announcement of new anti-corruption initiatives by the White House and Treasury’s FinCEN in December mark historic progress for anti-corruption reform.