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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

FinCEN devotes web pages to MSB registration, education

On Jan. 23, 2012, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) launched the "MSB Registration Web site" – web pages within FinCEN's website designed to educate about the compliance responsibilities of money services businesses (MSB) and facilitate registration of MSBs.

Previously, FinCEN relied on the MSB Registration List to dispense information. The list contained names of registrants, states where registrants engaged in MSB activities and the types of MSB activities provided. With the new web pages, MSBs, banks, regulators, law enforcement and the general public can access, search, download and print that same MSB registration, including MSB registration numbers. . FinCEN said it will update MSB information weekly. It noted that newly registered MSBs will be added to the website within approximately two weeks of electronically filing Form 107, also called the Registration of Money Services Businesses (RMSB) form.

While a paper version of the RMSB can be submitted, FinCEN said hard copy submissions can take approximately 60 days for processing and posting. Therefore, FinCEN encourages electronic filing of the RMSB.

Both providers and sellers of prepaid card services (called "prepaid access" by FinCEN) must comply with Bank Secrecy Act anti-money-laundering regulations for reporting prepaid card activity to FinCEN when certain card usage thresholds are crossed. But only providers of prepaid access (called "principal MSBs" by FinCEN as opposed to prepaid access sellers, "agent MSBs") must register.

FinCen reported over 1,000 businesses had registered as MSBs since early December 2011. As of Jan. 27, 2012, FinCEN said the website contained data on 39,713 registered MSBs. For more information, go to www.fincen.gov/financial_institutions/msb/MSBRegistrationSite.html . end of article

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