Press release | June 12, 2019

The US makes progress towards putting an end to anonymously-owned shell companies

Washington, D.C., June 12, 2019: 

Today the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee voted to pass a landmark corporate transparency bill through the committee. Alexandria Robins, Assistant Policy Advisor in Global Witness' Anti-Money Laundering team, said:

“Today, the House of Representatives made history with a majority vote to move the Corporate Transparency Act out of Committee and towards the House floor. We have campaigned for years to put an end to anonymously-owned companies used by criminals to operate in secrecy, to launder dirty money, and, ultimately, to get away with their crimes. Congress is finally stepping up and tackling this issue head on with a bipartisan bill that would tell criminals and the corrupt that the US is not open for business. Together, 33 Democrats and 10 Republicans in the House Financial Services Committee decided that the US should no longer be a haven for illicit funds.  

Just prior to today’s House Committee vote, Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Doug Jones (D-AL), and Mike Rounds (R-SD)—all members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs—also introduced a draft bill that proposes a range of reforms to current anti-money laundering laws in order to make them more effective. That bill includes a section which mirrors the Corporate Transparency Act and is aimed ending anonymous companies as well. This shows that there is bipartisan support for corporate transparency in the Senate, and that leading figures there are serious about pursuing a solution.  

We welcome the efforts of these Senators to draft the ILLICIT CASH Act and we applaud Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Pete King (R-NY) for their enduring leadership on this issue to see the Corporate Transparency Act passed out of committee. With today’s events, Congress is inching closer to a landmark achievement in the effort to combat illicit finance and corruption around the world.”