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Wednesday word: FIU

May 26, 2010

FIU stands for financial intelligence unit.  The Egmont Group, an informal association of FIUs from around the world, defines an FIU as follows:

A central, national agency responsible for receiving (and as permitted, requesting), analyzing and disseminating to competent authorities, disclosures of financial information:

i.  concerning suspected proceeds of crime and potential financing of terrorism, or

ii.  required by national legislation or regulation, in order to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.*

The FIU for the United States is the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an office within the Treasury Department which is also responsible for administering and enforcing the Bank Secrecy Act.

The director of FinCEN is James H. Freis, Jr., a Bush-era holdover.

Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

FinCEN Director James H. Freis, Jr.

At least 115 other countries have financial intelligence units according to the membership rolls of the Egmont Group.

*  Schott, Paul Allan, Reference Guide to Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism, second edition (The World Bank:  2006).

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