U.S. Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
Organization's Own Description:
The U.S. Department of the Treasury established the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in 1990 to provide a government-wide multisource financial intelligence and analysis network. The organization's operation was broadened in 1994 to include regulatory responsibilities for administering the Bank Secrecy Act, one of the nation's most potent weapons for preventing corruption of the U.S. financial system.
The Bank Secrecy Act, enacted in 1970, authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to require certain records or reports where they have a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax, or regulatory investigations or proceedings, or in the conduct of intelligence or counterintelligence activities, including analysis, to protect against international terrorism. The authority of the Secretary to administer Title II of the Bank Secrecy Act (codified at 31 U.S.C. 5311-5332 with implementing regulations at 31 C.F.R. Part 103) has been delegated to the Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Hundreds of thousands of financial institutions are subject to Bank Secrecy Act reporting and recordkeeping requirements. These include depository institutions (e.g., banks, credit unions and thrifts); brokers or dealers in securities; insurance companies that issue or underwrite certain products; money services businesses (e.g., money transmitters; issuers, redeemers and sellers of money orders and travelers' checks; check cashers and currency exchangers); casinos and card clubs; and dealers in precious metals, stones, or jewels.
The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, enacted shortly after the 9/11 attacks in America, broadened the scope of the Bank Secrecy Act to focus on terrorist financing as well as money laundering. The Act also gave the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network additional responsibilities and authorities in both important areas, and established the organization as a bureau within the Treasury Department.
The Director of FinCEN reports to Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). TFI is the lead office in the Treasury Department for fighting the financial war on terror, combating financial crime, and enforcing economic sanctions against rogue nations.