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Comment deadline on FinCEN/SEC proposal to require CIP rules for registered investment advisers


FinCEN has announced it has joined the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in jointly proposing a new rule that would require SEC-registered investment advisers (RIAs) and exempt reporting advisers (ERAs) to establish, document, and maintain written customer identification programs (CIPs). The proposal is designed to prevent illicit finance activity involving the customers of investment advisers by strengthening the anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework for the investment adviser sector.

This proposed rulemaking complements a separate FinCEN proposal in February 2024 to designate RIAs and ERAs as “financial institutions” under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and subject them to AML/CFT program requirements and suspicious activity report (SAR) filing obligations, among other requirements. That proposal cites a Treasury risk assessment that identified that the investment adviser industry has served as an entry point into the U.S. market for illicit proceeds associated with foreign corruption, fraud, tax evasion, and other criminal activities. Together, these proposals aim to prevent illicit finance activity in the investment adviser sector and further safeguard the U.S. financial system.

The rule, if adopted, would require RIAs and ERAs to, among other things, implement a CIP that includes procedures for verifying the identity of each customer to the extent reasonable and practicable and maintaining records of the information used to verify a customer’s identity, among other requirements. The proposal is generally consistent with the CIP requirements for other financial institutions, such as brokers or dealers in securities and mutual funds. Comments on the proposal will be accepted for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.

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