Bipartisan BSA/AML Bill Introduced in Senate

A bipartisan group of Senate Banking Committee members, four from each side of the aisle, last week introduced the Illicit Cash Act (S.2563) to require companies to register their owners with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and modernize and improve Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) efforts. 

Led by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), the measure has seven original cosponsors, including Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). 

The same day the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the BSA that included the following four recommendations for the FinCEN director to consider:

  • Prioritize the inclusion of the primary SRO conducting BSA examinations in the Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group on a more consistent basis;
  • Explore providing direct BSA data access to the National Futures Association;
  • Review options for FinCEN to more consistently and publicly provide summary data on the usefulness of BSA reporting; and
  • Review options for establishing a mechanism through which law enforcement agencies may provide regular and institution-specific feedback on BSA reporting.

The Senate bill would also update the definition of "coins and currency" to include digital currency and seeks to help financial institutions, like credit unions, share information on suspicious activity and streamline reporting.