New Requirements to Combat Money Laundering

Banks will now be required to identify the owners of shell corporations.

Starting with the Panama Papers, a massive leak of confidential documents from a Panamanian law firm, much more light has been shed on the ways in which the rich and unscrupulous avoid government oversight of their assets. The Panama Papers—along with the Paradise Papers, which were released in a similar leak from another global offshore law firm—revealed that numerous politicians and celebrities have taken advantage of shell corporations and corporate secrecy to move money across borders.

Starting this month, banks now must comply with an extensive set of new due diligence requirements designed to combat money laundering and international money movement of the kind revealed in the Panama and Paradise Papers. The new rules, issued by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, require financial institutions to

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