On January 24, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) submitted for comment its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking enabling financial institutions (including Money Services Businesses) subject to suspicious activity reports (SARs) obligations to share SARs and related information with the institution's foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates.
Key highlights of the changes include:
The application process: Interested financial institutions must submit a written application to FinCEN that, among other, identifies the institution's point of contact for pilot program-related correspondence and specifies the foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates with which the financial institution intends to share SARs and related information.
Quarterly reporting requirement: participant financial institutions will be required to report certain information such as the total number of SARs and related information shared, the legal and compliance issues encountered and the technical difficulties and challenges.
Prohibition involving certain jurisdictions: participant financial institutions would be prohibited from sharing SARs and related information with foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates in specific jurisdictions.
Treatment of foreign jurisdiction-originated reports: These reports will be subject to the same confidentiality requirements as reports filed under the Bank Secrecy Act.
The pilot program is scheduled to end on January 1, 2024. Comments are to be submitted by March 28, 2022.