What is the FinCEN?

Essential Information About Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN):
  • Formed: April 25, 1990
  • Headquarters: Vienna, Virginia
  • Agency executive: Director, Ken Blanco
  • Parent agency: Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), established on April 25, 1990, serves as the Financial Intelligence Unit of the United States of America at home and abroad. It is an authorized body of the Treasury Department to combat financial crimes in the USA. FinCEN collects and examines monetary transactions to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Mission of FinCEN

It protects the financial system and services from organized crime organizations and effectively combats money laundering. Besides, it aims to facilitate its detection by increasing the sector's integration.

What does FinCEN do?

It examines reports from financial institutions to check whether money laundering or terrorist financing crimes have been committed. It also works to inform institutions about suspects and suspicious activities. Its field of activity is vast. It aims to detect and prevent all illegal transactions, from the most complicated crime to the most straightforward crime. With the USA Patriot Act, which came into force in 2001, FinCEN has become a significant US authority, investigating people with increased powers and suspected money laundering and terrorist financing. 

Responsibilities of FinCEN

  • It audits anti-money laundering and Countering the financing of terrorism compliance of regulated organizations.
  • It regulates and interprets AML / CFT regulations.
  • It examines Suspicious Activity Reports.
  • It determines and regulates the reporting requirements that companies must meet.
  • It supports law enforcement investigations and prosecutions.
  • It reports to the Ministry of Treasury.
  • It shares information with international Financial Intelligence Units.
  • It detects and measures local and global financial crime threats.

What are the FinCEN Requirements?

FinCEN, the Financial Intelligence Unit of the United States, gives financial institutions some responsibilities and obligations to detect and prevent financial crimes. Some obligations are listed below.

  1. They should ensure customer identification through Know Your Customer procedures during the customer account opening processes.
  2. They have to determine the customer risk level with Customer Due Diligence and Enhanced Due Diligence procedures.
  3. They must comply with anti-money laundering laws.
  4. They are required to report to FinCEN in doubtful situations.
  5. They must share all information about the people requested by FinCEN with FinCEN.
  6. They are required to keep customer information and account transactions for a certain period.
  7. They are obliged to cancel the monetary transactions of those who the United States has sanctioned.
  8. They have to scan their customers in sanction lists, starting with the customer onboarding of sanctioned persons' transaction sanctions.

Financial institutions operating in the United States must comply with relevant regulations and laws. Accordingly, they must follow the FinCEN regulations and fulfill their obligations strictly. FinCEN fines organizations that do not meet their AML and CFT obligations.


Sanction Scanner provides solutions that enable financial institutions to comply with regulations. These operating in the USA can fulfill their Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and Bank Secrecy Act obligations with the Sanction Scanner. You can check your customers with Sanction Scanner's global sanction data and detect the sanctioned people. In addition, you can automate your compliance processes with API integration and reduce your workload.

You can contact us for information about our solutions.

See more about FinCEN.

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