Draft Regulations Tackling Dirty Money in U.S. Real Estate, Private Investment Markets Now Expected in Early 2024
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition welcomed the release by the Biden Administration of a comprehensive update on its ongoing implementation of the 2021 Strategy on Countering Corruption, including revised timelines for a number of critical anti-money laundering initiatives. This update, provided through fact sheets published by the Department of the Treasury and the White House, came on the heels of International Anti-Corruption Day and the beginning of the 10th Conference of the States Parties (CoSP10) to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in Atlanta, Georgia.
“These updates come at a critical time as the United States is on center stage as the host of this week’s anti-corruption summit,” said FACT executive director Ian Gary. “Though the Biden Administration took a historic step two years ago in recognizing the global fight against corruption as a core economic and national security priority, a number of reforms central to that fight remain unfinished. By providing concrete timetables for these important reforms, including critical new regulations for the real estate and private investment sectors, the Administration has seized the opportunity in Atlanta to demonstrate leadership and help set the scene for international anti-corruption efforts for years to come.”
CoSP10 is being held almost exactly two years after the release of the 2021 U.S. Strategy on Countering Corruption, which outlines a number of domestic financial transparency reforms central to tackling corruption at home and abroad. These reforms include effective beneficial ownership transparency implementation under the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) – perhaps the single most consequential U.S. anti-money laundering (AML) update in decades – and the establishment of new AML safeguards for the titanic U.S. real estate and private investment industries.
Despite the recognized importance of these reforms, however, progress has been slow. Widely expected to have been released this year, a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) establishing enhanced transparency standards for many residential real estate purchases is now slated for release in early 2024. Draft rules for certain investment advisers, meanwhile, are now expected in the first quarter of the year. Treasury’s fact sheet also notes that the Department is “considering next steps with regard to addressing the illicit finance risks associated with the U.S. commercial real estate sector.” The recently released Fall 2023 unified federal regulatory agenda anticipates that a proposed rule on commercial real estate will be released as early as September of next year.
“As the world’s largest economy and top supplier of financial secrecy, the United States has not only an interest, but an obligation to make sure that the proceeds of global corruption don’t find safe haven in our markets,” said Mr. Gary. “As the U.S. hosts international anti-corruption negotiations in Atlanta, we welcome the Administration’s strengthened commitment to expanding on progress made domestically over the past two years. Now it is time for Treasury to get to work on finalizing these much needed reforms to once and for all turn off the faucet and end the flow of dirty money into the U.S.”
Notes to the Editor:
- The Treasury Department’s new fact sheet on completed and upcoming Actions to Prevent and Disrupt Corruption can be found here. Read the White House’s release on U.S. Leadership in the Fight Against Global Corruption here.
- Click here to read FACT’s official comment on Treasury’s initial Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on real estate transactions, including recommendations to ensure the effectiveness of proposed anti-money laundering safeguards for both residential and commercial purchases.
- On Monday, FACT Coalition member Transparency International-US (TI-US) released “A Welcome Mat for Corruption,” a 21-country analysis demonstrating how U.S. anti-money laundering rules for real estate come up short. In 2021, The FACT Coalition co-published a report, “Private Investments, Public Harms,” with TI-US and Global Financial Integrity offering 11 cases demonstrating money laundering risk in the $11 trillion U.S. private investment market.
- Information about the procedures of the UNCAC COSP, the events agenda, and more can be found on the official website.
- FACT will be speaking at the following events during the COSP:
- Tuesday, December 12, 2:30-3:15pm: “Unlocking the Treasure Chest – Leveraging Beneficial Ownership Transparency for Asset Recovery.” Livestream information will be made available on the World Bank’s Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) website.
- Wednesday, December 13, 9:00-9:50am: Combating Corruption to Protect the Environment – “Corruption and Forest Loss.” Click here to register to watch online.