Testimony Reinforces the Need for Additional Funding For Nation’s Financial Crime Fighters
Washington, DC – Just weeks after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen repeated her assessment that that the U.S. remains the best place for international and domestic bad actors to hide ill-gotten gains, top Treasury officials today appeared before the House Financial Services Committee to provide updates on recent and upcoming anti-money laundering efforts, including the implementation of the landmark Corporate Transparency Act (CTA).
In his remarks, Acting Director of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Himamauli Das identified a number of the Bureau’s top priorities, including effectively implementing the CTA by ensuring “efficient access” to beneficial ownership information collected under the law for authorized users, and effectively verifying that information.
Ian Gary, Executive Director of the FACT Coalition, said in a statement:
“Today’s testimony makes clear both the scale of the work FinCEN has before it, as well as the need for adequate resourcing for this critical national security bureau.”
“Last month, Secretary Yellen noted that ‘unmasking shell corporations is the single most significant thing’ the U.S. can do to protect our financial system and communities from corrupt actors. In today’s testimony, Acting Director Das said that cost considerations could present a potential impediment to verification of beneficial ownership information collected under the CTA. Without accurate verification measures, the ultimate effectiveness of the new beneficial ownership regime would be severely compromised.”
“FinCEN officials have repeatedly cited resource constraints as a core contributor to the slow pace of regulatory action, both with regards to implementation of the CTA and other priorities. In order to fully and forcefully implement the CTA and finally end the use of anonymous entities to facilitate crime in the U.S., Congress must do its part by funding FinCEN at the full $229 million level requested by the Administration.”
“Guarding the U.S. financial system against abuse by transnational and domestic criminals should not be a political issue. FinCEN needs the funding necessary to achieve its critical national security goals, and to end the era of U.S. complicity in global financial crime.”
Scott Greytak, Director of Advocacy of Transparency International-U.S., said in a statement:
“Today Republicans and Democrats identified a throughline behind two of the most pressing crises of our time—Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and China’s facilitation of the American fentanyl epidemic—and that throughline is the ability of foreign, dirty money to penetrate the U.S. financial system.”
“In response, Congress must ensure that the Treasury Department, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in particular, have the resources, authorities, and political support needed for them to maximize their responses to these emergencies, and that begins with Congress meeting their funding needs in full.“
Notes to the Editor: