WASHINGTON -- Eyebrows were raised at financial services trade associations after the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network submitted a report to the Treasury Department stating that reporting cross-border wire transfers by financial institutions is "technically feasible" and worthwhile.
The report outlines how to resolve the remaining technical and policy issues regarding regulatory implementation according to FinCEN. The information potential "may be valuable to the government's efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing," according to FinCEN.
"FinCEN is firmly committed to working with the financial services industry and our partners in the regulatory and law enforcement communities to consider the design and implementation of a suitable and efficient potential reporting regime," FinCEN Acting Director William F. Baity said. "I believe this inclusive, step-by-step approach will allow us to determine the right balance between providing real anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing benefits without imposing a burden and will go a long way in helping our efforts to protect our economic and national security."
The agency assured that it would perform further cost/benefit analysis as well as working on technical and privacy concerns.
American Bankers Association Executive Director for Financial Institutions Policy Wayne Abernathy, former Treasury assistant secretary for financial institutions, called the report's findings "breathtaking." He added, "ABA is carefully reviewing the findings and information in the FinCEN feasibility study submitted to Congress [Jan. 16], particularly to see if the government could effectively and safely collect, store and protect data on the proposed half-billion cross-border wire transfers reports. Especially important will be how sensitive privacy and information security problems would be solved."
NAFCU Director of Regulatory Affairs Carrie Hunt commented on the report, "As you know, we're concerned about regulatory burden and anything that increases the regulatory burden for credit unions, so we are looking at that." --firstname.lastname@example.org