WASHINGTON (9/1/09)—Responding to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommendation for more guidance to help financial institutions determine whether a member or customer is eligible for exemption from currency transaction reporting requirements, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Monday issued new Bank Secrecy Act direction. The FinCEN guidance provides examples and answers to commonly asked questions regarding a final rule that went into effect on Jan. 5, and which made the following changes to the CTR exemption system:
* Elimination of designation and annual review for most Phase I customers; * Financial institutions may now designate an otherwise eligible non-listed business customer/member for exemption if it has conducted five or more reportable transactions in currency within a year (previously, eight or more reportable transactions were required); * The waiting time for Phase II eligibility was decreased from 12 months to two months or less than two months if a risk-based analysis of the member's transactions was conducted; and * Biennial renewals for Phase II exemptions were eliminated.
FinCEN’s new guidance includes an easy-to-read chart to help financial institutions establish when a member or customer can be exempt. Use the resource link below to access more information.