Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Supports Most Proposed Changes to Currency Transaction Report
Posted March 29, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

Today, we filed a letter with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) regarding a proposal to revise the layout of the Bank Secrecy Act Currency Transaction Report (BCTR).

While we appreciate that FinCEN is not proposing any new regulatory requirements related to currency transaction reporting, it is important to note that any regulatory changes—even absent additional regulatory requirements—may cause credit unions to expend time and resources to understand and make updates to reflect such changes. 

We are supportive of FinCEN’s objective of improving the tracking of money laundering and terrorist financing. However, we offered FinCEN the following comments regarding several of the proposed changes to the BCTR:

  • Addition of Part IV: The proposal would add a new Part IV to record the entity actually filing the report through the BSA E-Filing System. A check box would be added to Part III to indicate when the information in Part IV is the same for Part III.

We support the addition of Part IV. Including the transacting location on the form will make research easier if more information is needed after the BCTR has been filed. In addition, we support the proposed check box in Part III to indicate whether the reporting and transacting locations are the same, as this will save valuable time when completing the form.  

  • Definition of “Teller”: FinCEN has been advised by several non-bank financial institutions that the reference to “teller(s)” in the instructions is confusing and misleading, since nonbank financial institutions normally do not employ “tellers.” Therefore, FinCEN is proposing to define “teller” for the purpose of completing a BCTR as: “An individual employed by a covered financial institution that accepts currency in the normal course of business at the covered financial institution.”

We support the proposed definition of teller. While credit unions do employ “tellers,” providing a standard definition may provide clarity for nonbank financial institutions. 

  • Specifying the Filing Institution: One of the reasons FinCEN is proposing changes to the BCTR is to accommodate alternative reporting models that have developed in the last few years. Prior to such models, FinCEN noted that the BCTR was generally filed by the financial institution where the transaction occurred.

It is our understanding that credit unions that participate in shared branching typically file the BCTR at the credit union where the transaction occurred (transacting credit union). Having the transacting credit union file the BCTR appears most logical, since it is the institution that directly interacts with the member who conducted the transaction triggering the BCTR filing. However, we do see value in having the transacting credit union notify the member’s credit union that a BCTR was filed. Such information is useful to the member’s credit union for purposes of tracking, looking for patterns, and possible SAR filing.