Will FinCEN’s initiatives really make BSA/AML more effective?

On September 17, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) proposed changes, that if finalized, could have a widespread impact on how we deal with everyday BSA/AML compliance. Of course, the idea is to provide the most effective information to FinCEN and law enforcement to protect our financial system from bad actors. But will FinCEN’s proposals really provide the most effective information and make compliance easier, as hoped? Or is it all just wishful thinking? NAFCU raised several issues in our comment letter, which you can access here.

Effectiveness Proposal

NAFCU detailed FinCEN’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) regarding changes to the regulatory anti-money laundering (AML) requirements in this Regulatory Alert and previously discussed it in a BSA/Compliance Network Insights post. To recap, the ANPR seeks to establish that all financial institutions must maintain an “effective and reasonably designed” AML program. As part of this definition, the regulations would explicitly require a risk-assessment that considers national AML priorities set by the Director of FinCEN every two years. National AML priorities could include those identified in FinCEN advisories. Credit unions will need to demonstrate effectiveness, and this could include the reallocation of resources from lower priority risks to higher priority ones. Although credit unions already conduct risk-assessments, it is important to highlight the potential ramifications of the inclusion of national AML priorities.


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