World’s Largest Banks Endorse Ending Anonymous Shell Companies

For Immediate Release

World’s Largest Banks Endorse Ending Anonymous Shell Companies

Letter from The Clearing House Endorses Bipartisan Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act

WASHINGTON - On Monday, the Clearing House Association—representing the world’s largest commercial banks—sent a letter to Congressional lawmakers supporting strong measures to crack down on the abuse of anonymous companies.  The group, which counts among its owners Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, explicitly endorses the bipartisan Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act (H.R.4450, S.2489).

The letter opens by stating:

“The Clearing House Association is pleased to support S. 2489/H.R. 4450, the Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act. We believe the bill would assist public sector efforts to identify money laundering and terrorist financing through the disclosure of the beneficial owners of corporations. In addition, the legislation would bring the United States further in line with international AML/CFT expectations, such as the recommendations developed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). We can see no justification for allowing corporations to shield their ownership.”

The full letter can be read here.

The bipartisan legislation (H.R.4450, S.2489), which has been gaining momentum since the release of the Panama Papers earlier this year, is sponsored by Reps. Peter King (R-NY) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) as well as Sens. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

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Founded in 2011, the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition unites over 100 different civil society representatives from small business, anti-corruption, faith-based, government watchdog, human rights, investors, labor, public-interest, and international development organizations from across the ideological spectrum.

We seek an honest and fair international tax code, greater transparency in corporate ownership and operations, and commonsense policies to combat the facilitation of money laundering and other criminal activity by the financial system.

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