FAQs look at proposed effectiveness of AML requirements

(Jan. 22, 2021) Suspicious activity reporting and other anti-money laundering (AML) requirements are subjects of new frequently asked questions (FAQs) issued by NCUA, federal banking regulators and the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) this week.

The questions were developed, the agencies said, in response to recent Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group (BSAAG) recommendations, as described in last September’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Anti-Money Laundering Program Effectiveness, published by FinCEN.

According to the agencies, the FAQs clarify the regulatory requirements related to suspicious activity reporting to assist credit unions and other financial institutions with their compliance obligations. The FAQs also enable financial institutions to focus resources on activities that produce the greatest value to law enforcement agencies and other government users of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reporting, the agencies said.

The FAQs also address questions about maintaining accounts at the request of law enforcement, suspicious activity report (SAR) filing and the receipt of grand jury subpoenas or other law enforcement inquiries, maintaining customer relationships following the filing of an SAR, SAR filing and monitoring on negative media alerts, data fields, the SAR narrative, and SAR character limits.

The agencies said the FAQs do not alter existing BSA/AML legal or regulatory requirements and they do not establish new supervisory expectations.

NCUA, Federal Banking Agencies, FinCEN Issue FAQs on SAR and Other AML Requirements