Removing Barriers Blog

FinCEN issues guidance on COVID-19
Posted March 17, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

FinCEN issued a statement on March 16, 2020 requesting financial institutions affected by COVID-19 contact FinCEN and their functional regulator as soon as practicable if there is a concern about any potential delays in its ability to file required Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reports.  

Institutions should call FinCEN's Regulatory Support Section (RSS) for assistance at 1-800-949-2732 or e-mail at FinCEN's RSS will continue to be available to support financial institutions for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency encouraged financial institutions to keep FinCEN and their functional regulators informed as their circumstances change.

FinCEN also advised financial institutions to be on the lookout for malicious or fraudulent transactions similar to those that often occur in the wake of natural disasters, such as: imposter scams (i.e., bad actors impersonating government agencies), COVID-19 investment scams, product scams (COVID-19-related supplies); and even insider trading related to the pandemic. FinCEN encourages financial institutions to enter "COVID19" in Field 2 of the SAR-template for any suspected suspicious transactions linked to COVID-19. Click here to read more.

For more information on disaster-related fraud, see: FinCEN's advisory, FIN-2017-A007 "Advisory to Financial Institutions Regarding Disaster-Related Fraud" (October 31, 2017)