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Transparent Beneficial Ownership is Key to Addressing Corruption and Should be an Essential Component of the Counter Terrorism and Illicit Finance Act   (H.R. 6068)

Washington D.C., June 14, 2018

The Counter Terrorism and Illicit Finance Act (H.R. 6068), being considered by the House Financial Services Committee, must address the shadowy world of anonymous corporations formed in the United States.  These corporations are means for persons in the United States and around the world to hide their corruptly obtained assets.  Prior versions of H.R. 6068 contained significant provisions requiring collection of the names of the real people who own and control U.S. companies and access to that information to law enforcement and financial institutions with anti-money laundering obligations.

These provisions garnered the support of law enforcement organizations such as the Fraternal Order of Police, the National District Attorneys Association and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.  Major financial services organizations representing banks large and small, also expressed support, as did CEOs Dow Chemical, Unilever, Salesforce, Allianz, Virgin, the Kering Group.  Just a week ago, the State of Delaware – home to thousands of anonymous shell companies – endorsed the beneficial ownership provisions of H.R. 6068.

The Coalition for Integrity urged adoption of the beneficial ownership provisions in H.R. 6068 last December, joining many other anti-corruption and good governance organizations.   As we noted in our December letter, the United States has committed to implementing beneficial ownership transparency in many international fora.  These commitments were made as part of the international fight against corruption, terrorism, human trafficking and other evils.  Restoring the transparency provisions to H.R. 6068 is essential to empowering law enforcement, financial institutions and others to address threats to our national security and the rule of law.

Notes:

  1. Our previous comments to the House Financial Services Committee on “Legislative Proposals to Counter Terrorism and Illicit Finance” are here.  Our comments focused on the beneficial ownership section (Section 9) of the draft “Counter Terrorism and Illicit Finance Act.”
  2. Our blog on growing bipartisan support for beneficial ownership transparency is here.
  3. The Counter Terrorism and Illicit Finance Act (H.R. 6068) is available here