The U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the China Anti-Money Laundering Monitoring and Analysis Center last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create a framework to facilitate expanded U.S.- China collaboration, communication, and cooperation between both nations’ financial intelligence units.

In the United States, FinCEN is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating financial intelligence to law enforcement and other relevant authorities to help fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism. FinCEN is also the lead AML/countering the financing of terrorism (CIT) regulator for the federal government. In both roles, its mission is to safeguard the financial system, combat money laundering, and promote national security. FinCEN has dozens of similar MOU arrangements with other FIUs, organized under the global network of the Egmont Group, to share information to protect the world’s financial system.

FinCEN’s Chinese counterpart, China Anti-Money Laundering Monitoring and Analysis Center (CAMLMAC), has similar responsibilities for the Chinese government. Though not yet a member of the Egmont Group, CAMLMAC possesses financial intelligence that will provide FinCEN and U.S. law enforcement investigators with "extremely valuable information to provide leads, expose criminal networks, and help thwart illicit activity," FInCEN said.

According to FinCEN, its arrangement with CAMLMAC provides a mechanism for sharing information on money laundering and the financing of terrorism in order to prevent illicit actors from abusing either country’s financial systems. This information-sharing arrangement implements important objectives of the September 2015 meetings between the two nations’ leaders and furthers the objectives of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. 

The MOU establishes that the information being exchanged is to be used only in an authorized manner and treated in a confidential manner.