FACT Coalition Backs Deputy Secretary Adeyemo’s Call to Congress for Increased Appropriations for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) 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:
“Deputy Secretary Adeyemo’s call for increased FinCEN funding comes at a crucial time, especially as the United States is reckoning with its new status as the world’s most secretive financial jurisdiction, supplying more financial secrecy vehicles to the world than the Cayman Islands and Switzerland combined.
“If we want to succeed in flipping the script on U.S. financial secrecy, Congress needs to invest in our nation’s financial crime fighters. FinCEN needs resources not only to enforce existing laws but also to put in place new anti-money laundering safeguards – such as those already passed more than 18 months ago in the Corporate Transparency Act. The situation in Ukraine only adds to the urgency to accelerate implementation of this landmark law, by the end of this year, to require U.S. shell companies to disclose their true owners.
“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. Meanwhile, FinCEN has to fulfill its mandate of protecting the integrity of the U.S. financial system with a budget roughly equivalent to the loose change found between Congress’ proverbial couch cushions – just $161 million for fiscal year 2022, or 0.0006 percent of U.S. GDP.
“Here’s the bottom line – if Congress wants to safeguard the U.S. financial system from Russian oligarchs, drug traffickers, fraudsters, and other illicit actors, it has to put its money where its mouth is. Congress should 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:
- A recent Transparency International report, “Up to the Task?: State of Play in Countries Committed to Freezing and Seizing Russian Dirty Money,” demonstrates how U.S. funding for FinCEN stacks up against that of U.S. allies.
- The 2022 Financial Secrecy Index named the U.S. as the top supplier of financial secrecy in the world. FACT Press Release on the 2022 Financial Secrecy Index.
- President Biden’s FY2023 Budget Request (p. 98).
- 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.