A significant and much needed update to the United States’ anti-money laundering (AML) laws is one of the few remaining legislative efforts that may get across the finish line during this election year. Members of both parties on both sides of the Capitol recognize that the current AML system is inadequate to meet the evolving challenges presented by terrorist organizations, international drug and human traffickers, and domestic criminal enterprises. Disagreement about one key issue, however, appears to be holding up progress on reform legislation: how, when and to whom a company must disclose its beneficial owners. Resolution of the beneficial ownership issue could have significant impacts not only on financial institutions, which currently must collect the information, but also on businesses in all industries and of all sizes, especially those that prefer or find it necessary to transact with a degree of anonymity.
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