FinCEN Updates Due Diligence Rules
On May 11, 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued new final rules under the Bank Secrecy Act requiring financing institutions, including brokerage firms, to adopt additional anti-money laundering (AML) procedures that include specific due diligence and ongoing monitoring requirements related to customer risk profiles and customer information. In addition, the new rules require financial institutions to collect and verify information about beneficial owners and control person of legal entity customers.
The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) specifically requires brokerage firms to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act. FinCEN provides minimum rules. Brokerage firms are also required to comply with AML rules established by FINRA, including FINRA Rule 3310. The purpose of the AML rules is to help detect and report suspicious activity including the predicate offenses to money laundering and terrorist financing, such as securities fraud and market manipulation. FINRA also provides a template to assist small firms in establishing and complying with AML procedures. As