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Key Senators See Bipartisan ‘Beneficial Owner’ Reform

The heads of the Senate Banking Committee said there is growing bipartisan support for legislation to reform how companies disclose their “beneficial owners.”

At a committee hearing, Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) cited legislation introduced earlier this month to establish federal reporting requirements requiring all beneficial ownership information to be maintained in a federal database.
In a written statement for the hearing, ICBA continued its call for Congress to pass legislation that would require companies to disclose their beneficial owners when they are formed. 
ICBA cited last week’s House Financial Services Committee passage of Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s (D-N.Y.) Corporate Transparency Act (H.R. 2513). That bill, which advanced to the full House on a bipartisan 43-16 vote, would require certain small businesses to disclose their beneficial owners to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network when they are formed, relieving community banks of the burden of collecting this information from their customers.
In its statement, ICBA said collecting this information for all legal-entity customers is a difficult and onerous task for banks. On the other hand, requiring businesses to provide this information to FinCEN would provide no additional burden on these companies over what they currently provide to banks under the existing Customer Due Diligence rule.
ICBA also provided its July 2018 white paper on modernizing anti-money-laundering and anti-terrorist-financing laws and regulations. As Congress debates Bank Secrecy Act reform, the white paper advocates updating currency transaction report and suspicious activity report thresholds, providing more current information to financial institutions, and creating a tax credit to offset the cost of the Bank Secrecy Act.

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