Suspicious Activity Reporting

 

Introduction
Bank Records
Customer Identification Program
Suspicious Activity Reporting
Identification, Research, and Reporting
──Monitoring
───Automated Account Monitoring
Customer Due Diligence
Information Sharing
Currency Transaction Reporting

Suspicious activity reporting forms the cornerstone of the BSA reporting system. It is critical to the United States’ ability to utilize financial information to combat terrorism, terrorist financing, money laundering, and other financial crimes. Within this system, FinCEN and the federal banking agencies recognize that, as a practical matter, it is not possible for a bank to detect and report all potentially illicit transactions that flow through the bank. Examiners should focus on evaluating a bank’s policies, procedures, and processes to identify and research suspicious activity. However, as part of the examination process, examiners should review individual Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) filing decisions to determine the effectiveness of the suspicious activity monitoring and reporting process. Above all, examiners and banks should recognize that the quality of SAR data is paramount to the effective implementation of the suspicious activity reporting system.

Banks, bank holding companies, and their subsidiaries are required by federal regulations53 to file a SAR with respect to:

  • Criminal violations involving insider abuse in any amount.
  • Criminal violations aggregating $5,000 or more when a suspect can be identified.
  • Criminal violations aggregating $25,000 or more regardless of a potential suspect.
  • Transactions conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank (or an affiliate) and aggregating $5,000 or more, if the bank or affiliate knows, suspects, or has reason to suspect that the transaction:
    • May involve potential money laundering or other illegal activity (e.g., terrorism financing).
    • Is designed to evade the BSA or its implementing regulations.54
    • Has no business or apparent lawful purpose or is not the type of transaction that the particular customer would normally be expected to engage in, and the bank knows of no reasonable explanation for the transaction after examining the available facts, including the background and possible purpose of the transaction.

A transaction includes a deposit; a withdrawal; a transfer between accounts; an exchange of currency; an extension of credit; a purchase or sale of any stock, bond, certificate of deposit, or other monetary instrument or investment security; or any other payment, transfer, or delivery by, through, or to a bank.

Depository
Institutions
TDF 90-22.47
Securities
Industry
FinCen10
Casinos
FinCen102
Money
Services
FinCEN 109

Intro to the Patriot Act