On July 21, 2011, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) published in the Federal Register a final rule on definitions and other regulations relating to money services businesses (Final Rule).1 The Final Rule amended the definition of “money services business” at 31 CFR 1010.100(ff). An entity may now qualify as a money services business (MSB) under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulations based on its activities within the United States, even if none of its agents, agencies, branches or offices are physically located in the United States. The Final Rule arose in part from the recognition that the Internet and other technological advances make it increasingly possible for persons to offer MSB services in the United States from foreign locations.2 FinCEN seeks to ensure that the BSA rules apply to all persons engaging in covered activities within the United States, regardless of the person’s physical location.
FinCEN is issuing this Advisory to advise financial institutions of their obligations under the BSA when providing financial services to foreign-located MSBs. Financial institutions should note the following:
- To qualify as an MSB, a person, wherever located, must do business, wholly or in substantial part within the United States , in one or more of the capacities listed in 31 CFR 1010.100(ff).3Relevant factors include whether the foreign-located person, whether or not on a regular basis or as an organized or licensed business concern, is providing services to customers located in the United States…
Detailed press release link: here