Treasury New Rules for Information Sharing Have Important international Implications

IMPORTANT: The full content of this page is available to premium users only.

Monday, April 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
On February 26, 2002, the Treasury Department requested comment on a proposed rule that would facilitate information sharing between federal law enforcement offices and private financing institutions on possible money laundering and terrorist activity. On February 26, 2002, Treasury also promulgated an interim rule to take effect on publication in the Federal Register that will allow certain institutions to share information among themselves, also for the purpose of thwarting money laundering and terrorism. The proposed and interim rule have importance of transnational business. The certification itself must confirm the institution’s name, that it qualifies as a financial institution as defined in the regulations, that it will take adequate measures to protect the confidentiality of customer information, and that it will used the information only for the purposes as authorized under the regulations. The certification also must included the name of the contact of the contact at the institution or association with which it will share the information. Both the proposal and the interim rule said that for purposes of implementing their respective sections of the act, the law does not define the term “financial institution”. The Patriot Act authorizes the sharing of information among financial institutions about persons suspected of terrorism and money laundering in order to facilitate financial institutions’ ability to identify and report to the U.S. Government instances of money laundering or financing of terrorism.