ABA urges changes to beneficial ownership registry reporting

In a letter yesterday, American Bankers Association urged the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to make changes to the form that entities will use to report beneficial ownership information to the registry that FinCEN is creating to store this information.

FinCEN established the registry last fall pursuant to the Corporate Transparency Act, part of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020, which requires the agency to create a registry of the beneficial owners of legal entities formed or registered in the U.S. while minimizing the compliance burden on the regulated community. ABA’s letter was sent in response to FinCEN’s request for approval by the Office of Management and Budget of the registry’s reporting form, which FinCEN is required to obtain.

In the letter, ABA urged FinCEN not to allow a filer to list “Unknown,” “Unable to identify all Company Applicants,” and “Unable to identify all Beneficial Owners” as responses to key demographic information sought about company applicants and the company’s beneficial owners. The association also asked FinCEN to revise its estimate of burden to regulated entities in its Paperwork Reduction Act request to include the effect of FinCEN’s reporting requirement on financial institutions, which will be asked by customers about the purpose of the reporting requirement and will seek assistance fulfilling that requirement.

Last month, ABA urged FinCEN to withdraw its related proposal regarding access to the registry, calling the proposal “fatally flawed.”

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