WASHINGTON (4/18/08)--The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) yesterday released new guidance for financial institutions that aims to help law enforcement target foreign corruption and money laundering. The guidance requests that financial institutions include the term “foreign corruption” in the narrative portions of their Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). It also clarifies the definition of “senior foreign political figure.” “FinCEN guidance seeks to focus financial industry efforts to provide law enforcement authorities with indications of suspicious activity in a way that promotes faster and more targeted identification and investigation,” said FinCEN Director James Freis Jr. “More consistent flagging of the specific term ‘foreign corruption’ will facilitate law enforcement efforts focused on this high priority area.” The change in guidance is a “way of streamlining the reports,” according to Nichole Seabron, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) federal compliance counsel. “They’re trying to set a precise standard. It’s more informational,” she said. CUNA has continued to meet with the Treasury Department and has discussed FinCEN’s efforts to prevent the financial system from being abused by money launderers, terrorists and other criminals. CUNA’s Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Task Force also has gathered information on how to improve the BSA process (News Now June 25, 2007). For more information, use the link.