Intergovernmental plans to better identify corporate owners will do little to thwart financial crooks, even at great cost to banks and governments, according to an academic report on offshore financial flows.
European Union nations may still have to name the owners of corporations but they won't necessarily do so publicly, under the economic bloc's latest iteration of an anti-money laundering proposal.
Even with the parliamentary passage of the EU's anti-money laundering directive last month, tough debates lie ahead for the economic bloc's plans to better identify financial criminals, say observers.
A U.S. Treasury Department proposal to toughen customer due diligence obligations for banks would increase compliance costs while providing only minimal benefit to law enforcement, according to industry comment letters.
Compliance with beneficial ownership standards will be one of the top priorities for Financial Action Task Force examiners during the group's next round of jurisdictional reviews, a U.S. official said Tuesday.
The U.S. Treasury Department said Wednesday that it was considering imposing customer due diligence currently applied to private banking and correspondent accounts to all accountholders at depository institutions.
The Financial Action Task Force is weighing whether to ask jurisdictions to loosen their privacy laws and require companies to retain data on their owners, among other changes to the group's standards.
The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on a Senate-approved bill that would pressure foreign financial institutions to disclose their U.S. clients and extend government subpoena powers of financial records.
The exploitation of shell companies by arms traffickers, terrorist financiers and other criminals represents a serious danger to U.S. national security, a high ranking U.S. Treasury Department official said Thursday.
Senator Carl Levin reintroduced a bill Wednesday that would mandate that states collect information on the beneficial owners of corporations in an effort to stop shell company abuse.
After a two-year delay, the U.S. government on Thursday released an anti-money laundering (AML) strategy focused on nine areas including money services businesses and trade-based finance. It did not include plans for combating terrorist financing, a break from previous strategies.
The reduce the threat of shell companies, banks must ask questions to understand the nature of any business opening an account and should seek proof that the business produces something, says David Caruso, an AML compliance expert.