The U.S. Treasury has proposed that banks be required to report all electronic funds transfers into, and out of, the U.S. Banks have only been required to report cash transfers over $10,000 and others they believe are suspicious. Credit card and ATM transactions would not be affected by the new rule.
The change in rules is part of the government’s efforts to crack down on money laundering and financing for terrorists. The goal is to better track financial transactions so that unusual activity can be detected.
“By establishing a centralized database, this regulatory plan will greatly assist law enforcement in detecting and ferreting out transnational organized crime, multinational drug cartels, terrorist financing and international tax evasion,” James H. Freis Jr., director of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), said in a statement.
Some opponents of the proposal cited concerns about the government collecting so much personal data. “These new banking surveillance programs are testing the boundaries of privacy,” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told the Washington Post. “Many consumers both in the United States and outside are likely to object.”