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FinCEN delays use of new SAR CTR reporting forms
WASHINGTON (12/21/11)—The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has pushed back the deadline for credit unions and others to use its new Currency Transaction Report (CTR) and Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) forms until March 31, 2013.

FinCEN had proposed that the new SAR and CTR forms be used as of June 30, 2012.

FinCEN in a release said the deadline delay is a response "to industry concern about having sufficient time to transition to the new reports, including any necessary changes to their internal processes and/or IT systems."

The Credit Union National Association supported additional time for a transition period and supports this extension.

The SAR and CTR changes, which were approved earlier this year, are technical in nature, and do not include any new regulatory requirements or changes related to current report requirements, FinCEN said. The changes were made to ease the transition from the current paper SAR form submission model to a newer electronic filing model.

FinCEN had proposed that the new SAR and CTR forms be used as of June 30, 2012, and the agency is also considering requiring e-filing of SARs, CTRs and Designations of Exempt Persons (DEPs) reports on that same date.

FinCEN has said the switch to all-electronic filing would improve efficiency, reduce costs for the financial industry, and enhance the ability of investigators, analysts, and examiners to gain better and more timely access to important financial information.

Increased Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) E-Filing would also help FinCEN provide information relevant to money laundering and terrorist financing investigations to law enforcement in the quickest manner possible, shortening the lag time between when BSA reports are filed and when they can be accessed by authorities to two days. (See related Sept. 15 story: FinCEN proposes to make BSA e-filing mandatory)
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