WASHINGTON—On November 2, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) hosted a FinCEN Exchange focused on the threat posed by the illicit use of convertible virtual currency in light of Hamas’ brutal terrorist attacks in Israel and the critical role the financial industry plays in detecting terrorism financing. The Exchange included presentations by FinCEN and Federal law enforcement agencies, followed by discussions on information sharing mechanisms and observations related to terrorism financing in a dialogue involving U.S. financial institutions, technology, and social media companies.
Engagement with the U.S. private sector plays a critical role in Treasury’s work in identifying and mitigating terrorists’ use of our financial system. The FinCEN Exchange is part of a whole-of-government response to deny Hamas the ability to raise and use funds worldwide for its terrorist activities, and exchanges like the one held yesterday are critical to identifying and stopping funding channels to terrorist groups, including Hamas. The U.S. Department of the Treasury will continue to use all available tools to identify and stop terrorist financing funding channels.
FinCEN appreciates the critical support that financial institutions provide to law enforcement and national security agencies in fighting illicit activities through their suspicious activity reporting and their allocation of resources to national security priorities. On October 20, FinCEN issued an alert to aid financial institutions in identifying suspicious activity relating to financing Hamas and reporting it to FinCEN. FinCEN Exchanges provide an important mechanism to enhance law enforcement feedback and to help financial institutions more effectively implement their anti-money laundering programs.
FinCEN strongly encourages all financial institutions to register under USA PATRIOT Act Section 314(b) and to form associations to engage in voluntary information sharing. Section 314(b) information sharing can reveal networks of illicit activity that no single financial institution can detect alone, compounding the benefits for both the financial institution and law enforcement. In fiscal year 2023, there were more than 7,600 314(b) registered financial institutions, making extensive network analysis possible.
FinCEN Exchange is a voluntary public-private partnership that convenes relevant stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies and financial institutions. FinCEN Exchange aims to protect our national security and our citizens from harm by combatting money laundering and its related crimes, including terrorism, through public-private dialogue that encourages, enables, and acknowledges industry focus on high-value and high-impact activities.