February 2021 Foodman website and JD Supra

The AML Act of 2020 includes the creation of  “Treasury Attachés” (SEC. 6106, appointed by the US Treasury Department) and the “Foreign Financial Intelligence Unit Liaisons” (SEC. 6108, appointed by FinCEN) to be stationed abroad.  

The Treasury Attachés will:

  • Assist the Department of the Treasury with developing and executing the financial and economic policy of the United States Government and the international fight against terrorism, money laundering, and other illicit finance.
  • Be co-located in a United States Embassy, a similar United States Government facility, or a foreign government facility, as the Secretary determines is appropriate.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with foreign counterparts, including employees of ministries of finance, central banks, international financial institutions, and other relevant official entities.
  • Conduct outreach to local and foreign financial institutions and other commercial actors.
  • Coordinate with representatives of the Department of Justice at United States Embassies who perform similar functions on behalf of the United States Government.
  • Perform such other actions as the Secretary determines are appropriate.
  • Be at least 6 more employees than the number of employees of the Department of the Treasury serving as Treasury Attachés on the date of enactment of this section.

The Foreign Financial Intelligence Unit Liaisons (At Least 6) will:

  • Be knowledgeable about domestic or international anti-money laundering or countering the financing of terrorism laws and regulations.
  • Possess a technical understanding of the Bank Secrecy Act, the protocols of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, and the Financial Action Task Force as well as its recommendations. 
  • Be co-located in a United States embassy, a similar United States Government facility, or a foreign government facility.
  • Facilitate building capacity and performing outreach with respect to anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism regulatory and analytical frameworks.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with officials from foreign intelligence units, regulatory authorities, ministries of finance, central banks, law enforcement agencies, and other competent authorities.
  • Participate in industry outreach engagements with foreign financial institutions and other commercial actors on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism issues.
  • Coordinate with representatives of the Department of Justice at United States Embassies who perform similar functions on behalf of the United States Government.
  • Perform such other duties as the Director determines to be appropriate.

FFIs Could Face More Enforcement Activity

The Treasury appointed “Treasury Attachés,” and the FinCEN appointed “Foreign Financial Intelligence Unit Liaisons” will be on the ground and in the backyard of FFIs. These appointments translate as “cross-border” AML enforcement through establishing and building an AML/CFT culture with FFIs, Foreign Regulators and Foreign Law enforcement Units. 

Will FFIs be ready for this “on the ground” AML scrutiny?

FFIs ought to revise their AML programs and ensure that they are compliant with US AML requirements.

Is your FFI AML compliant?

Is your FFI up to date with the AML Act of 2020?

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