WASHINGTON (12/30/09)--The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has made available a Spanish-language version of its brochure “Notice to Customers: A CTR Reference Guide.” The guide is designed to be a resource for credit unions and other financial institutions to address questions frequently asked by members or customers regarding the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requirement to report transactions in currency that exceed $10,000. "Currency transaction reports provide unique and reliable information that is essential to supporting investigations and detecting criminal activities," said FinCEN Director James Freis, Jr. when announcing the Spanish-language brochure last month. "We hope that financial institutions find this pamphlet useful for communicating with a wider range of customers the importance of compliance with the reporting requirement." According to FinCEN, its pamphlets use “plain language” to explain the reporting requirement to those who may not be familiar with a financial institution's obligations under the BSA. They explain that large currency transactions are not illegal, but that financial institutions are required to obtain information from their customers when these transactions occur, and that if a customer attempts to break up, or "structure," transactions in order to evade the CTR reporting requirement, there are potential civil and criminal consequences. Use the resource link below to access the Spanish- and English-language booklets.