Policy News

BAFT, Trade Groups Call for National Beneficial Ownership Registry and Reform of AML Framework

On March 13, BAFT joined eight other financial services trade associations in submitting a letter to the House Financial Services Committee leaders highlighting the need for a national beneficial ownership registry.

While banks are required to collect the beneficial ownership information of their customers, the associations noted that the lack of a single, centralized federal registry for verification of that information “represents a significant gap in the U.S. regulatory system that allows criminals, money launderers, kleptocrats and terrorist financiers to obscure their identities from law enforcement.”

The letter urged lawmakers to pursue reforms to the current anti-money laundering framework that would result in greater clarity and simplicity for banks. Specifically, the associations called for reforms that would better align the examination and compliance framework with national AML/CFT priorities; facilitate information sharing between financial institutions and law enforcement; update and streamline reporting requirements; and encourage the use of technology to support AML efforts.

The letter may be found under the Comment Letters in the Documents Library.