October 29, 2019

House passes bills aimed at inclusion, BSA/AML relief

Capitol domeThe House Monday passed two NAFCU-supported bills related to financial inclusion and the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)/anti-money laundering (AML) regime: The Financial Inclusion in Banking Act (H.R. 4067), and the COUNTER Act (H.R. 2514) as a standalone bill.

The COUNTER Act seeks to reduce the burden of certain Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) filings on financial institutions and would index  the threshold for Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) to inflation. The bill would also make improvements to the BSA/AML regime, such as improved regulator coordination and encourage innovation in the AML system.

The House last week added the COUNTER Act's provisions to the Corporate Transparency Act (H.R. 2513) – which addresses beneficial ownership reporting – and passed the bill 249-173. By advancing the separate bill, the House vote demonstrates the strong bipartisan support for the COUNTER Act and provides the Senate with more options as it considers BSA/AML relief.

The Financial Inclusion Banking Act would require the CFPB's Office of Community Affairs to research how to increase financial inclusion for underserved communities. NAFCU offered its support of the legislation as a way to promote diversity and inclusion within financial services.

NAFCU will continue to monitor these bills and related efforts as they move to the Senate.