Starting January 1, 2003, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, FinCEN will require securities firms to file the same kind of reports that banks have been filing for years. Specifically, firms will have to report on any transaction of $5,000 or more if they fear it :
- could be from illegal proceeds
- is meant to help “a criminal purpose”
- is structured to avoid reporting
- has no apparent purpose at all.
The extension of the reporting rules came as part of anti-terrorism legislation enacted last year in the wake of the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington. Lawmakers were concerned that terrorists could use securities firms as a way to get around anti-money laundering safeguards in the banking system.
FinCEN Director James Sloan said the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as securities firms’ self-regulatory organizations have already taken steps to shore up anti-money laundering efforts in the industry.