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SEC Launches Online Reference Site for AML for Mutual Funds

Originally appeared in MiFID Monitor

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has unveiled a new one-stop online reference site to assist mutual funds in their anti-money laundering (AML) compliance efforts. It has also launched a new centralised phone line specifically for securities firms to report the filing of a suspicious activity report (SAR) that may require immediate attention by the SEC.

The AML Source Tool for Mutual Funds, originally developed for use by SEC examiners in the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), provides links to key AML laws, rules and related guidance to help mutual funds maintain their AML compliance programmes as required under law.

Lori Richards, director of the SEC’s OCIE, says: “Last year, we made our AML Source Tool for Broker-Dealers available to the public, and it has been a popular resource for securities firms and their AML compliance staff. While we initially developed these resources for our own SEC examiners, they are invaluable reference tools for industry compliance staff as well. This Source Tool for Mutual Funds puts all mutual fund AML requirements in one easy to reference location, making it easy for mutual funds to understand their AML compliance obligations in their ongoing efforts to prevent money laundering.”

OCIE along with the SEC’s division of enforcement created the SEC SAR Alert Message Line to centralise calls made about SAR filings. In 2001, the USA Patriot Act expanded the scope of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and as a result, broker-dealers and mutual funds became subject to regulations requiring them to file SARs.

As provided in the SAR rules, in situations involving violations that require immediate attention, the SEC indicates that firms must immediately telephone an appropriate law enforcement authority in addition to filing a SAR.

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