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Bank Secrecy Act Reports

Under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), financial institutions are required to assist U.S. government agencies in detecting and preventing money laundering. BSA requires financial institutions to:

  • Keep records of cash purchases of negotiable instruments,
  • File reports of cash transactions exceeding $10,000 (daily aggregate amount), and
  • Report suspicious activity that might signal criminal activity (e.g., money laundering, tax evasion)

An amendment to the BSA incorporates provisions of the USA Patriot Act, which requires every bank to adopt a customer identification program as part of its BSA compliance program.

File a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR)

As of April 1, 2013, Financial institutions must use the Bank Secrecy Act BSA E-Filing System in order to submit Suspicious Activity Reports.

A financial institution is required to file a suspicious activity report no later than 30 calendar days after the date of initial detection of facts that may constitute a basis for filing a suspicious activity report. If no suspect was identified on the date of detection of the incident requiring the filing, a financial institution may delay filing a suspicious activity report for an additional 30 calendar days to identify a suspect. In no case shall reporting be delayed more than 60 calendar days after the date of initial detection of a reportable transaction.

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Related News and Issuances
Publish DateIdentifierTitle
12/16/2010  OCC 2010-43, Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs): Final Rules
04/23/2009  OCC 2009-12, Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering: FinCEN Guidance to Financial Institutions on Filing Suspicious Activity Reports regarding Loan Modification/Foreclosure Rescue Scams