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WASHINGTON-The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has issued a survey to financial services trade associations seeking input on the possibility of collecting international wire transfer data. FinCEN would like insight into its feasibility and the impact of implementing a cross-border wire transfer reporting requirement under the Bank Secrecy Act. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 mandated the survey and calls for regulations by December 2007. However, before regulations become effective, the Treasury Secretary must certify that the technical capability to receive, store, analyze, and disseminate the information is in place. Canada and Australia, among other countries, already have systems up and running. The information collected will aid law enforcement in tracking down terrorist financing and money laundering. CUNA, the American Bankers Association, the Institute of International Bankers, the Independent Community Bankers of America and representatives of major money wire services are helping by distributing the survey to their membership. “If we can identify data in cross-border wire transfer records that helps protect economic and national security and find a workable way to efficiently collect that data – all while protecting and preserving its integrity – it will enormously strengthen our efforts,” FinCEN Director Robert W. Werner said. “At the same time, we need to ensure that we do not impose regulatory requirements on the industry without the promise of real anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist funding benefits.” The feasibility study is expected to be delivered to Congress by late spring 2006.

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