On July 19, 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued FAQs regarding the customer due diligence requirements (“CDD”) that it published on May 11, 2016, for certain financial institutions, including brokers, dealers, future commission merchants and introducing brokers in commodities. The FAQs provide interpretive guidance with respect to these requirements, including, in particular, the new regulatory requirement to identify and verify the identity of the “beneficial owners” of virtually all legal entity customers, other than a sole proprietorship and an unincorporated association. The CDD defines “beneficial owner” as:

  • each individual, if any, who, directly or indirectly, owns 25% or more of the equity interests of a legal entity customer; and
  • a single individual with significant responsibility to control, manage, or direct a legal entity customer, including an executive officer or senior manager. . .
  • or any other individual who regularly performs similar functions.”

The FAQs states: “In short, covered financial institutions are now required to obtain, verify, and record the identities of the beneficial owners of legal entity customers.”