A new survey in the financial sector shows broad support for that idea FinCEN file Investigations will help in the global fight against corruption.
The majority of respondents said the BuzzFeed News series and the International Association of Investigative Journalists would have a positive impact on efforts to curb financial crime.
The answers are part of survey of 340 people in banks, regulators and other financial professionals of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Experts, the largest organization of financial crime professionals in the world. Announced last week, the poll addressed many of the issues these officials face on a daily basis – from the kind of guidance they receive from the Treasury Department to the tools they use to track crime. financial offense.
The FinCEN profile, an unprecedented view of global financial corruption and the banks and policies that enable it, relies on thousands of confidential “suspicious activity reports” from the Ministry of Finance. Before publishing the series in September 2020, the Treasury Department warning that the disclosures could “affect the national security of the United States” and “affect law enforcement investigations.”
Now half a year later, only 27% of those surveyed say they think the effect will be negative. A total of 46% of respondents said they believe the project will lead to enhanced regulatory oversight of financial institutions or voluntarily strengthen anti-corruption measures.
Ross Delston, an attorney and expert on money laundering, said the result was a surprise.
“It has almost become a religious rule that SARs are never disclosed, never mentioned, always protected,” he said. “Based on that alone, I thought it would get compliance professionals to accept any release of information.”
“Originally, FinCEN” – the Finance Ministry’s Financial Crime Enforcement Network – “seemed to think the disclosure would affect their work,” he added. In fact, it could confirm their work. “
The recent Congress passed in a very majestic pass law plays a big hole in money launderers and top lawmakers have credited FinCEN Files helped bring it online. The corporate transparency Act makes it difficult for individuals to hide their identities behind the so-called shell companies.
The industry still faces major challenges.
Nearly 80% said periodic national guidelines on how to combat money laundering “would be helpful”. Nearly two thirds suggested that regulators should give them better feedback on the reports they have submitted. Nearly 65% of respondents think there is a harmful “time lag” between suspicious financial transactions and when they are reported to the Treasury Department.