[author: Dirk C. Haarhoff]
The U.S. Treasury Department’s criminal enforcement arm, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), has reached individual agreements with the states of Louisiana and California which will allow state insurance regulators to share information on insurance companies lacking mandatory anti-money laundering procedures or programs, and notify the federal agency of possible fraud.
FinCEN intends to form similar partnerships with every state. To that end, it has been reaching out to individual state regulators through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Individual partnership agreements are necessary because each state has different statutory requirements governing the sharing of information in its respective insurance industry. This relationship also will facilitate sharing of information among states, such as information on new frauds and scams that could be used to launder money.
For insurance companies, these partnership agreements signal a more focused effort by FinCEN to (1) enforce anti-money laundering regulations in existence since 2005, (2) require insurance companies to establish anti-money laundering programs, and (3) file suspicious activity reports.