What Is FinCEN?
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is a federal regulatory bureau of the United States Treasury.
It serves as the United States’ Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and is part of the global network of over 100 FIUs known as the Egmont Group.
The primary focus of FinCEN is to promote cooperation and information sharing among FIUs.
As an FIU, FinCEN is mandated to disclose financial information related to suspected proceeds of crime and potential terrorist financing.
It collects and analyzes data on financial transactions to combat domestic and international money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.
Guardians of Financial Integrity
Established in 1990 by the US Department of the Treasury, FinCEN’s mission is to enhance national security, deter and detect criminal activity, and safeguard financial systems from abuse.
It achieves this by promoting transparency in the US and international financial systems.
FinCEN’s key responsibilities include collecting, analyzing, and disseminating financial transaction data for law enforcement purposes.
It also fosters global cooperation with counterparts in other countries and collaborates with international bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Fortifying Financial Integrity
Under the legislative framework known as the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) or the Currency and Financial Transactions Reporting Act of 1970, FinCEN carries out its regulatory duties.
The BSA grants the Secretary of the Treasury the authority to issue financial regulations to banks and other financial institutions, requiring them to establish anti-money laundering (AML) programs and file reports.
These reports assist in criminal, tax, and regulatory investigations and intelligence and counter-terrorism efforts.
FinCEN is responsible for implementing and enforcing these federal, state, local, and international regulations.