VIENNA, Va. (3/4/09)—Under a plan unveiled by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Tuesday, depository institutions would be allowed to share suspicious activity information with certain affiliates. FinCen’s proposed changes to its Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) rules are intended to:
* Clarify the scope of a statutory prohibition against the disclosure by a financial institution of a SAR; * Address a statutory prohibition against the disclosure by the government of a SAR; * Clarify that the exclusive standard applicable to the disclosure of a SAR is “to fulfill official duties consistent with Title II of the (Bank Secrecy Act) BSA”; * Modify the safe harbor provision to include changes made by the USA PATRIOT Act; and * Where possible, coordinate minor technical differences that exist between confidentiality, safe harbor, and compliance provisions of FinCEN rulemaking for different industries.
FinCEN said in its proposal document that it expects some of the federal financial institutions regulators to issues contemporaneous rules. It noted that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Office of Thrift Supervision had such plans. FinCEN also said it is simultaneously issuing for notice and comment proposed guidance regarding the sharing of SARs with affiliates. It noted its proposed guidance interprets one of the provisions of its notice of proposed rulemaking and, accordingly, should be read in conjunction with this notice.