Foreign financial companies that conduct money-services business in the United States will have to register and meet US anti-money laundering obligations, under a long-awaited final rule issued Monday by the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The rule, which seeks to clarify what companies qualify as a money-services business, represents “a shift in regulatory approach,” one expert said. “This rule will enable entities to determine in a more predictable and straightforward way whether they are operating as money service businesses subject to BSA (Bank Secrecy Act) rules,” said FinCEN Director James Freis, Jr. “In addition, the rule requires foreign entities conducting these activities in the United States as MSBs to register. This addresses the global nature of financial crimes.” The final rule states that whether a person is subject to regulation as an money services business, or MSB, does not depend on factors such as whether the person is licensed.

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