FinCEN proposal to impose AML obligations on U.S. Funding Portals

By C. Todd Gibson, Michael McGrath and Ken Juster

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department) (“FinCEN”) proposed rules that would require “funding portals” established under new Regulation Crowdfunding to implement policies and procedures designed to prevent money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.

Current regulations under the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) define a “Broker or Dealer in Securities” as an entity registered, or required to be registered as a broker or dealer under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Certain funding portals that operate in compliance with Regulation Crowdfunding are exempt from such registration, and therefore fall outside of the BSA definition.  FinCEN is proposing to amend the defintion of a “Broker or Dealer in Securities” to specifically include funding portals, which will have the effect of imposing the same BSA obligations on funding portals as are currently imposed on fully-registered broker-dealers, such as filing suspicious activity reports.

A copy of the proposed amendment can be found here.

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