Treasury Hearing Wednesday on Anti-Money Laundering Banking Reform

May 17th, 2011

Proposed Rule Would Require Banks to Report Information on the U.S. Accounts of Foreigners

Internal Revenue ServiceWASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Treasury Department will hold a hearing tomorrow on a proposed rule requiring banks to report information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on bank accounts held by non-U.S. residents. Currently, U.S. banks are not required to give the U.S. government information about these types of accounts.

“It is absurd that our government requires banks to report information for U.S. citizens and legal residents, but not for the accounts owned by people not living here,” said Global Financial Integrity Legislative Affairs Director Heather Lowe. “In addition to posing multiple national security risks, this lack of reporting hampers the U.S. government’s ability to comply with tax information exchange agreement treaty obligations with other countries and hamstrings law enforcements’ ability to keep the proceeds of international drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption, terrorist financing and other crimes out of the U.S.”

The proposed rule was published in January 2011. Previous attempts by Treasury to implement similar rules have been blocked by those who fear that such measures would drive away foreign investment. A February 2010 Senate investigation found that millions of dollars in criminal money were finding their way into the U.S. every year, posing a massive security risk and abetting international criminal activity.

Senator Carl Levin, whose Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations conducted the investigation and subsequent hearing, commented in the February hearing’s opening remarks, “those engaged in large-scale corruption want to put their money in a modern financial system that can store, protect, invest, and transfer their funds efficiently. They want access to U.S. banks. And it is our job to stop them and keep foreign corruption out of the United States.”



Monique Perry Danziger
+1 202 293 0740 ext. 222


The Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development addresses inequalities in the global financial system that penalize billions of people, and advocates for improved transparency and accountability.

Global Financial Integrity is a  coordinating committee and founding member of the Task Force on Financial Integrity & Economic Development .

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Written by Global Financial Integrity

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