The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Clark Gascoigne,

World's Largest Banks Endorse Ending Anonymous Shell Companies

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


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).

The Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition is a non-partisan alliance of more than 100 state, national, and international organizations working toward a fair tax system that addresses the challenges of a global economy and promoting policies to combat the harmful impacts of corrupt financial practices.

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