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US House passes slate of anti-money laundering bills

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a package of bills that would revamp the Bank Secrecy Act and change how banks report anti-money laundering activity.

It passed 249-173.

The slate of bills would create a database for financial institutions that do not publicly report ownership structures to the SEC to file beneficial ownership information. The database would be housed and administered by the Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and the data would be shared with law enforcement officials to help investigations.

In addition, the bill package would implement a process that would seek ways to lessen the burden of filing suspicious activity reports for smaller banks. It would also require the identification of owners behind commercial real estate transactions and deals involving art and antiques.

The bill now moves to the Senate. It closely mirrors a bill introduced previously by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark.