Anti-Money Laundering (AML) in United States of America

USA Anti Money Laundering
The United States is one of the first countries to combat money laundering. Money laundering has been considered a crime in the United States since 1986. Money laundering is a serious crime in the USA, and the United States effectively fights against money laundering.

It is estimated that 2 trillion dollars of money are laundered through financial systems every year. Money laundering activity causes great damage to the world economy. The USA, one of the most developed countries in the economy, aims to effectively combat money laundering. Effective methods to prevent financial crimes have been established with Anti-Money Laundering regulations in the USA. In addition, penalties are imposed on individuals and institutions that do not comply with AML regulations.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) was established in 1990 by the Secretary of the Treasury. FinCEN serves as the U.S. Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in the USA. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is the US Treasury Department office, which collects and analyzes financial transactions on domestic and international money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes. Financial institutions report suspicious activity reports to FinCEN.

What are AML Laws in the USA?

Bank Secrecy Act and USA Patriot Act form the basis of the AML policies. BSA is the main authority that creates regulations and policies to combat financial crime in the USA. Financial institutions and US citizens have been held responsible for these laws. Financial institutions are required to create their own AML programs by making necessary checks in accordance with these laws. These controls aim to detect and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing by financial institutions. The scope and details of regulatory requirements vary for each financial institution that must meet BSA requirements in the USA.

AML Requirements in the USA

There are some requirements that financial institutions must meet according to AML regulations. Financial institutions that do not meet AML requirements face penalties. 

AML Programs

Firms must fight effectively to detect and prevent financial crimes. Financial institutions have to create their own AML programs according to BSA requirements. An effective fight against money laundering and terrorist financing is achieved through AML programs.

Currency Transaction Reporting

Under BSA regulations, financial institutions are required to file and store customer currency transactions. These files must be presented to supervisory agencies during the audits. Transactions worth more than $ 10,000 must be reported to FinCEN.

Suspicious Transaction Reporting

Financial institutions that detect suspicious transactions during AML controls must prepare a Suspicious Transaction Report. Suspicious Transaction Reports are reported to FinCEN. FinCEN examines these reports in detail.


Financial institutions must keep all records and reports for at least 5 years to ensure BSA compliance. In addition, the qualifications of the records must be such that they meet BSA requirements. 

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