FinCEN recently announcement Regulatory Proposal Notice (ANPRM) to solicit public comments on potential requirements under the Banking Secrecy Act (BSA) for certain persons involved in real estate transactions to collect, report and retain information. FinCEN intends this regulation to address the systematic money laundering vulnerabilities presented by the US real estate industry that allow illicit actors to launder criminal proceeds through real estate purchases, thereby threatening national security and the economy. integrity of the US financial system.
Specifically, FinCEN examines how best to focus its regulatory attention on residential and commercial real estate transactions, including respective approaches appropriate given the types of money laundering threats presented by each sector. ANPRM seeks comments on whether FinCEN should impose national record-keeping and reporting requirements on certain individuals involved in transactions involving purchases of unfunded real estate, as well as more general information on the risks of various illicit financial activities in the real estate market and on how the reporting requirements can manage this risk. In addition, FinCEN invites comments on the scope of potential future regulations in this space, including, for example, who should be subject to the requirements; what types of real estate purchases should be covered; what information must be declared and kept; the geographic scope of such a requirement; and the appropriate threshold for the monetary value of declaration. Written comments on the ANPRM can be submitted before February 7, 2022.
FinCEN also recently announcement a Request for Information (RFI) dealing more broadly with how to streamline, modernize and update the US anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regime, with an emphasis on how to modernize regulations and related risk-based guidance issued in accordance with the BSA. This latest RFI is also intended to assist FinCEN in the formal review of BSA regulations and related guidance. Written comments to the RFI can be submitted before February 14, 2022.