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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Agencies propose lowering threshold for certain fund transfers and transmittals of funds under Bank Secrecy Act

Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Federal Reserve FinCEN Bank Secrecy Act Of Interest to Non-US Persons Fund Transfers

Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

On October 23, the Federal Reserve Board and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced a proposed rule that would, among other things, amend the Recordkeeping Rule and the Travel Rule under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) by reducing the data collection threshold from $3,000 to $250 for certain fund transfers that begin or end outside of the U.S. In addition, the proposed rule would set the threshold at $250 for financial institutions “to transmit to other financial institutions in the payment chain information on fund transfers and transmittals of funds that begin or end outside of the [U.S.]” The proposed rule’s $250 threshold for data collection would also apply to digital currency transactions, both for international transfers and those within the U.S. The agencies also propose to clarify the meaning of “money” as used in certain defined terms to ensure the rules apply to domestic and cross-border transactions involving convertible virtual currencies. By proposing to lower the current threshold, the agencies “specifically considered Suspicious Activity Reports filed by money transmitters, which indicate that a substantial volume of potentially illicit funds transfers and transmittals of funds occur below the $3,000 threshold.” The agencies also note that the threshold for domestic transactions would remain unchanged at $3,000. Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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