After Congress successfully overturned a Presidential veto of the National Defense Authorization Act ("NDAA") for Fiscal Year 2021 (thereby enacting it fully), a lesser known subsection entitled the "Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020" was also recorded into law.

 Embedded within "Division F" of the NDAA was an entire section devoted to specific changes to the Anti-Money Laundering regime here in the U.S.  [To be exact, it starts on pg. 1,160 out of the 1,480 page PDF that is downloadable from the "H.R. 6395 (116th): National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021" homepage]

Focusing specifically on those portions (directly / indirectly) relating to Technology or Data - the following noteworthy changes will soon embed themselves into America's AML paradigm:

  • Expansion of the Bank-Secrecy Act's definition of "financial institution" to include businesses dealing in virtual currencies (defined as "value that substitutes as currency")
  • Creation of a national database of beneficial ownership information within FinCEN (aka the "Corporate Transparency Act") 
  • Ability of 2 or more Financial Institutions to enter into collaborative arrangements to share Systems/Technology (or other resources, including people) to reduce costs, increase operational efficiencies, and leverage specialized expertise
  • Creation of the "FinCEN Exchange", a public-private partnership to facilitate the voluntary information sharing among law enforcement agencies, national security agencies, financial institutions, and FinCEN
  • The Secretary of Treasury will need to periodically evaluate the potential costs, benefits and impact to adjusting the CTR and SAR thresholds
  • Establishment of a Dept. of Treasury Subcommittee on Innovation and Technology with respect to the Bank-Secrecy Act (as well as appointing a BSA Innovation Officer within FinCEN) 
  • FinCEN will need to  conduct a Financial Technology Assessment, convene a global Financial Crimes Technology Symposium and periodically publish AML threat patterns and trends/typologies

The linked article covers the AMLA more broadly, and is a good starting point for understanding most of the key provisions of the newly enacted law.