FinCEN

U.S. financial regulators are pushing to turn hedge funds into informers on the white collar crime beat. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is working on a rule that would require U.S. hedge funds to file formal reports notifying U.S. authorities of any suspicious trading by employees or outside parties, the regulatory agency said. The rule being crafted by FinCEN, part of the Treasury Department, would force the $2 trillion hedge fund industry to police itself in much the same way banks, brokerages and mutual funds are required to do by filing suspicious activity reports (SARs) with the unit. Steve Hudak, a FinCEN spokesman, said a proposed rule for the hedge fund industry could be filed for public comment some time in the first half of this year. But the rule, which would cover activities such as insider trading and money laundering, will force funds to spend more money on building out their compliance and legal departments. Hedge fund lawyer Ron Geffner said he expects many in the industry will oppose the new rule as being both intrusive and costly. [Reuters via Dealbook, FINalternatives]