Fincen: The SAR Activity Review Trends Tips & Issues (focus: Money Service Businesses)

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Introduction

The SAR Activity Review – Trends, Tips & Issues is a product of continual dialogue and collaboration among the nation’s financial institutions, law enforcement officials and regulatory agencies to provide meaningful information about the preparation, use and value of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) and other reports filed by financial institutions under FinCEN’s regulations.

This issue of The SAR Activity Review focuses on trends and issues related to Money Services Businesses. In 2011, FinCEN finalized rules on definitions and other regulations related to MSBs, and to pre-paid access as a subcomponent of MSB activity. Also in 2011, FinCEN engaged in an initiative to collect information on the MSB agent population. Two articles in the Trends & Analysis section focus on this initiative: an analysis of the data collected, and an analysis of related calls to FinCEN’s Regulatory Helpline. In addition, FinCEN’s Office of Outreach Resources provides an update on SAR-related inquiries to our Regulatory Helpline as well as other inquiries received on our Helpline related to MSBs, including the MSB Registrant Search Web page launched in January 2012. Finally, our Office of Regulatory Analysis looks at 2011 depository institution SAR filings related to potentially unregistered or unlicensed MSBs.

The Law Enforcement Cases section highlights the use of FinCEN information, particularly SARs, by providing specific examples of how the detection and analysis of suspect transactions by financial institutions led to the prosecution of criminals in a wide range of cases.In Issues & Guidance, we include several articles focusing on a variety of topics of interest for financial institutions. We open this section with a short article clarifying regulatory obligations related to SAR filings on ongoing activity. We follow with an article highlighting FinCEN’s numerous MSB related activities and an article that provides tips to MSBs on completing the electronic registration of money services business form. We close this section with an article from the Conference of State Bank Supervisors on two important activities at the state level, expansion of the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry to include MSBs, and a nationwide cooperative agreement on MSB supervision.

Detailed report link: here