Passage of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 is a top priority of CUNA and other organizations that wrote to Senate Armed Services Committee leaders Monday. The bill is being considered for inclusion in the Senate National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020.
“This bill includes critical provisions for law enforcement investigations into organized transnational criminal operations, human trafficking, terrorism financing and other unlawful activity that threatens our national security,” the organizations wrote.
The Anti-Money Laundering Act would create a secure beneficial ownership registry of legal entities, held at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a bureau of the Treasury Department, and the organizations believe it represents the best path forward to provide law enforcement with needed information to pursue criminals looking to exploit our financial system.
“The bill strikes the right balance between imposing minimal requirements on small businesses and providing critical information to law enforcement and financial institutions... The legislation also modernizes anti-money laundering controls and processes, which we believe will allow financial institutions to better assist law enforcement in its efforts to detect and deter financial crime and terrorism,” the letter reads.
The organizations note that, if this legislation had been enacted prior to the pandemic, it could have assisted financial institution efforts to serve new customers under the Paycheck Protection Program.
“Given the signs of increased illicit financial activity around COVID-19, Congress should act now to pass the Anti-Money Laundering Act as it will have a profound impact on preventing money laundering, human trafficking, drug smuggling, terrorism financing, fraud and other illicit activity,” the letter reads.
CUNA was joined in signing the letter by the American Bankers Association, Bank Policy Institute, Consumer Bankers Association, Financial Services Forum Institute of International Bankers and Mid-Sized Bank Coalition of America.