MoneyLaundering.com: Lower Travel Rule Could Trigger More ‘Demand Letters’ from FinCEN, with Stronger Demands

December 14, 2020

O’Melveny counsel Braddock Steven spoke with MoneyLaundering.com about the proposed expansion of a transactional reporting rule that could give the Treasury Department more opportunities to issue demand letters, an increasingly common tactic for gathering intelligence on financial crimes.

A plan put forth by FinCEN and the Federal Reserve would require banks and other institutions to keep records on any crossborder payment greater than $250, dramatically increasing the number of applicable transactions.

“It’s a very broad provision,” said Stevenson, former Deputy Associate Director of FinCEN’s Enforcement Division. “With a lower threshold, [FinCEN] can now really start to request transactions at very low dollar amounts.”

As the piece reports, these requests can involve an extensive level of detail.

“Banks that clear global payments in US dollars can expect to receive significantly more demand letters if the lower threshold takes effect, and should consider assigning more resources to handle them in light of the fact that a single letter can cover millions of records,” Stevenson warned.

MoneyLaundering.com subscribers can read the full article here.