On April 1, 2021, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to request public comment on a wide range of questions related to the implementation of the beneficial ownership information reporting provisions of the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA).
Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
This ANPRM is the first in a series of regulatory actions that FinCEN will undertake to implement the CTA, which is included within the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (AML Act). The AML Act is part of the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which became law on January 1, 2021.
The CTA amended the Bank Secrecy Act. The CTA requires corporations, limited liability companies, and similar entities to report certain information about their beneficial owners (the individual natural persons who ultimately own or control the companies). This new reporting requirement will enhance the national security of the United States by making it more difficult for malign actors to exploit opaque legal structures to launder money, finance terrorism, proliferate weapons of mass destruction, traffic humans and drugs, and commit serious tax fraud and other crimes that harm the American people.
Pursuant to the CTA, FinCEN must maintain the reported beneficial ownership information in a confidential, secure, and non-public database. In addition, the CTA authorizes FinCEN to disclose beneficial ownership information subject to appropriate protocols and for specific purposes to several categories of recipients, such as federal law enforcement. Under the CTA, FinCEN must revise existing financial institution customer due diligence regulations concerning beneficial ownership to take into account the new direct reporting of beneficial ownership information.
FinCEN encourages all interested parties, particularly those that would be affected by the beneficial ownership information reporting provisions or would seek access to reported beneficial ownership information, to submit written comments. The comments can come from interested persons outside the U.S. Such written comments will help inform FinCEN’s implementation of all aspects of the beneficial ownership reporting rulemaking.
Comments should be submitted by May 5, 2021.
This ANPRM seeks comment on FinCEN’s implementation of certain provisions in Section 6403 of the CTA. Section 6403 requires reporting companies (corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and similar entities, subject to certain statutory exemptions) to submit to FinCEN specified information on their beneficial owners—the individual natural persons who own or control them—as well as specified information about the persons who form or register those reporting companies. Section 6403 further requires FinCEN to maintain this information in a confidential, secure, and non-public database, and it authorizes FinCEN to disclose the information to certain government agencies for certain purposes specified in the CTA, and to financial institutions to assist in meeting their customer due diligence obligations. In both cases, these disclosures are subject to appropriate protocols to protect confidentiality. This ANPRM seeks comment on numerous questions as FinCEN begins to develop proposed regulations implementing these provisions.
While only the regulations implementing the reporting requirements must be promulgated by January 1, 2022, with an effective date to be determined. FinCEN also requests comment on its implementation of the related database maintenance use and disclosure provisions. Section 6403 requires that the final rule on customer due diligence requirements for financial institutions be revised will be the subject of a separate rulemaking, about which the public will receive notice and opportunity to comment.
Today, FinCEN announced a change in staff. Director Kenneth A. Blanco announced he will depart FinCEN on April 9, after serving as the organization’s director since December 2017. Michael Mosier, former FinCEN Deputy Director and current Counselor to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, will return to FinCEN as Acting Director. AnnaLou Tirol, former Associate Director of FinCEN’s Strategic Operations Division, is serving as FinCEN Deputy Director.
Mr. Mosier most recently served as Counselor to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, a role he assumed last month after serving as FinCEN’s Deputy Director and first Digital Innovation Officer. Mr. Mosier previously worked at the cryptocurrency analytics, compliance, and investigations firm Chainalysis, where he was Chief Technical Counsel. Prior to FinCEN and Chainalysis, Mr. Mosier was an Associate Director at Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. Mr. Mosier has also served as a Deputy Chief in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Money Laundering & Asset Recovery Section. He also served a tour at the White House National Security Council as Director for Transnational Organized Crime. Mr. Mosier began his public service as a prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center. He previously worked at a law firm representing technology, media, and financial services clients.
Ms. Tirol is now serving as Deputy Director. In this capacity, she assists in overseeing FinCEN’s wide-ranging work to enhance the national security of the United States. Ms. Tirol joined FinCEN in September 2019, serving as Associate Director of the Strategic Operations Division, where she worked extensively to promote FinCEN’s strategic partnerships with government and private industry stakeholders, both domestically and internationally. Ms. Tirol came to FinCEN after overseeing DOJ’s Public Integrity Section prosecuting public corruption matters. She began her public service as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Diego, and has served overseas tours for DOJ in Belgrade, Serbia, focusing on anti-corruption issues, and in Panama City, Panama, focusing on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. Ms. Tirol is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.
Director Ken Blanco will depart on April 9th to Citi to lead Financial Crimes Compliance