You are on page 1of 11


Department of the Treasury
Finanical Crimes Enforcement Network

Fincen's web site is located at:

For Immediate Release Contact FinCEN: 703-905-3770
February 6, 2003

FinCEN to Reinstate USA PATRIOT Act Section 314(a) Information Requests

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) will be reinstating information
requests associated with section 314(a) of the USA PATRIOT Act during the week of
February 17, 2003, as described below. Generally, section 314 authorizes law
enforcement authorities to communicate with financial institutions about suspected
money launderers and terrorists, and financial institutions to communicate amongst
themselves about such matters.

On November 26, 2002, FinCEN and the primary federal regulators issued a Joint
Agency Notice to put into place a brief moratorium on new section 314(a) information
requests and compliance with existing requests. During the moratorium, FinCEN, after
discussions with relevant federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies, revised the
314(a) information request process to address a number of logistical issues and to
develop additional guidance on the information request process. Significant changes
include the following:

• 314(a) requests from FinCEN will be batched and issued every two weeks, unless
otherwise indicated in the request.
• After receiving a 314(a) request, financial institutions will have two weeks, rather
than one week, to complete their searches and respond with any matches.
• Searches will be limited to specific records and, unless otherwise noted, will be a
one-time search.
• If a financial institution identifies a match for a named subject, the institution
need only respond to FinCEN that it has a match and provide point-of-contact
information for the requesting law enforcement agency to follow-up directly with
the institution.

Federal Register/Vol. 67, No. 42/Monday, March 4, 2002/Proposed Rules 9879

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY of 2001 (Public Law 107-56) (the Act). information sharing between federal law
Of the Act's many goals, the facilitation enforcement agencies and financial
31 CFR Part 103 of information sharing among institutions.
RIN 1506-AA26,1506-AA27 governmental entities and financial FinCEN is uniquely positioned to
institutions for the purpose of serve as the communication gateway
Financial Crimes Enforcement combating terrorism and money under section 314(a). Indeed, it already
Network; Special Information Sharing laundering is of paramount importance. provides considerable information
Procedures To Deter Money Section 314 of the Act furthers this goal relating to financial crimes to the
Laundering and Terrorist Activity by providing for the sharing of
information between the government financial community in a variety of
AGENCY: Financial Crimes Enforcement and financial institutions, and among ways. It issues Suspicious Activity
Network (FinCEN), Treasury. financial institutions themselves. As Report (SAR) Bulletins, which digest
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. with many other provisions of the Act, information drawn from SARs to
Congress has charged Treasury with illustrate indicia of suspicious activity,
SUMMARY: FinCEN, a bureau of the and SAR Activity Reviews, which
Treasury Department, is proposing developing regulations to implement
these information-sharing provisions. present trends, tips and issues in
regulations to implement provisions of suspicious activity reporting. FinCEN
Section 314(a) of the Act requires
the Uniting and Strengthening America issues advisories to alert the financial
regulations encouraging cooperation
by Providing Appropriate Tools community to specific activities and
between financial institutions and the
Required to Intercept and Obstruct areas that merit enhanced scrutiny,
federal government through the
Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001 including countries with lax anti-money
exchange of information regarding
that encourage information sharing laundering controls. In addition,
individuals, entities, and organizations
among financial institutions and federal
engaged in or reasonably suspected of FinCEN provides industry guidance on
government law enforcement agencies
engaging in terrorist acts or money its website. The financial services
to identify, prevent, and deter money
laundering activities. Section 314(b), on industry also makes substantial use of
laundering and terrorist activity.
the other hand, permits financial FinCEN's regulatory helpline.
DATES: Written comments on all aspects institutions, upon providing notice to
of the proposed rule must be received Second, Congress authorized the
Treasury, to share information with one sharing of information among financial
on or before April 3, 2002. another in order to better identify and
ADDRESSES: Written comments should institutions relating to suspected
report to the federal government
be submitted to: Special Information concerning activities that may involve terrorists and money launderers only
Sharing—Section 314 Comments, PO money laundering or terrorist activities. after providing notice to Treasury, for
Box 1618, Vienna, VA 22183-1618. First, utilizing me existing and future the purpose of identifying and reporting
Comments may also be submitted by communication resources of the to the federal government such
electronic mail to the following Internet Financial Crimes Enforcement Network activities. The notice provision outlined
address: (FinCEN), this proposed rule seeks to below—a yearly certification to FinCEN
with the caption in the body of the text, create a communication network linking that information will be shared and
"Attention: Proposed Rule—Special federal law enforcement with the protected from inappropriate
Information Sharing—Section 314." For financial industry so that vital disclosure—combined with the
additional instructions on the information relating to suspected requirement that any money laundering
submission of comments, see terrorists and money launderers can be or terrorist activities uncovered be
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION Under the exchanged quickly and without reported to FinCEN or other law
heading "Submission of Comments." compromising pending investigations. enforcement, will allow for the sharing
Comments may be inspected at FinCEN FinCEN, a bureau of Treasury, already of information while protecting the
between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., in the maintains a government-wide data privacy interests of customers of
FinCEN Reading Room in Washington, access service to assist federal, state, financial institutions. Given the
DC. Persons wishing to inspect the and local law enforcement agencies in importance of this information sharing
comments submitted must request an the detection, prevention, and provision, Treasury is issuing
appointment by telephoning (202) 354- prosecution of terrorism, organized simultaneously an interim rule
6400 (not a toll-free call). crime, money laundering, and other implementing section 314(b), which is
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: financial crimes. Under the proposed published elsewhere in this issue of the
Judith R. Starr, Chief Counsel (FinCEN), rule, federal law enforcement will have Federal Register. The regulatory text of
(703) 905-3590; William Langford, the ability to locate accounts of, and the interim rule and this proposed rule
Senior Counsel for Financial Crimes, transactions conducted by, suspected are identical with respect to section
Office of the Assistant General Counsel terrorists or money launderers by 314(b).
(Enforcement), (202) 622-1932; or Gary providing their names and identifying
W. Sutton, Senior Banking Counsel, information to FinCEN, which will then Nothing in this proposed rule affects
Office of the Assistant General Counsel communicate that information to the existing authority of federal agencies
(Banking & Finance), (202) 622-1976 financial institutions so that a check of to obtain information directly from
(not toll-free numbers). Financial accounts and transactions can be made. financial institutions, as authorized by
institutions with questions about their If matches are found, law enforcement law or regulation, pursuant to their own
coverage or compliance obligations can then follow up with the financial established and approved procedures.
under this rule should contact their institution directly. The rule is intended Moreover, nothing in the proposed rule
appropriate federal regulator. to formalize and streamline the affects a financial institution's
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: information sharing and reporting obligation to file a SAR, or its duty to
process that the federal government contact directly a federal agency
I. Background undertook following the attacks of concerning individuals or entities
On October 26, 2001, the President September 11, 2001, by permitting suspected of engaging in terrorist acts or
signed into law the USA PATRIOT Act FinCEN to serve as a conduit for money laundering activities.
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

FinCEN's web site is located at:

November 17, 2003

Information Sharing Provides Valuable Leads for Law Enforcement

A system allowing law enforcement officials investigating terrorist financing and major money
laundering cases to relay targets of investigation to thousands of financial institutions has
resulted in a large number of financial leads for investigators, reports the Financial Crimes
Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in its most recent SAR Activity Review -Trends, Tips and Issues,
released today.

FinCEN, under section 314(a) of the USA Patriot Act, has transmitted 167 cases involving 962
subjects of interest to financial institutions on behalf of law enforcement from February through
October 20, 2003. Financial institutions provided 6,987 responses that were forwarded to the
law enforcement requestors by FinCEN. Out of these responses, 6,397 were positive and 338
were inconclusive.

"Financial institutions are providing law enforcement with invaluable information," said
William F. Baity, acting Director of FinCEN. "Without the assistance of these financial
institutions, many of these leads might have taken law enforcement months or even years to
uncover, assuming they could have been uncovered at all."

The Review is a product of ongoing dialogue and collaboration between the nation's financial
institutions, law enforcement officials, and regulatory agencies to provide information about the
preparation, use and value of suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed by financial institutions.

In addition to information on the 314(a) system, this sixth issue of the Review provides on-going
analysis of SARs relating to terrorist financing and informal value transfer systems. The Review
also provides an in-depth description of coupon redemption fraud, along with instructions on
how financial institutions can identify and report this activity, and discusses suspicious monetary
instrument transactions that have been identified by clearing banks in the course of the
international cash letter process.

- more -
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

FinCEN's web site is located at:

For Immediate Release Contact FinCEN at (703) 905-3770
May 28, 2002

FinCEN Launches E-Filing System
Will Allow for BSA Filing over Secure Internet

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced today that it has begun its
pilot testing of the Patriot Act Communications System (PACS). PACS is designed to allow
participating financial institutions to quickly and securely file Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reports
over the Internet. Phase one of the system will allow for the filing of the bank Suspicious
Activity Report (Form TD F 90-22.47 or "SAR") and the Currency Transaction Report (Form
4789 or "CTR").

The electronic filing of BSA reports will expedite the reporting process and, thus, make the
information available to law enforcement more rapidly. It is also designed to reduce a financial
institution's costs in complying with the filing of BSA reports. More than 13 million BSA
reports are filed with FinCEN each year through the IRS Detroit Computing Center, which
processes the reports for FinCEN. Prior to the development of PACS, financial institutions could
file their reports either on magnetic tape or on paper. The PACS system will provide the third
option of electronic filing.

Approximately 30 financial institutions, ranging from large national banks to small credit unions,
will pilot test the system over the next two months. All BSA information submitted to PACS is
encrypted for protection.

"We are optimistic that financial institutions will employ the PACS system as their filing tool of
choice," said James F. Sloan, Director of FinCEN. "Use of PACS will allow for BSA
information to be processed and made available to law enforcement investigators on an
expedited basis. It will also save the government considerable taxpayer dollars in processing
costs associated with paper and magnetic filing."

Once the pilot-test phase is complete, FinCEN will evaluate the need to make adjustments to the
system and identify opportunities for enhancement. When the system is deployed, financial
institution personnel will be able to access PACS only after they have applied for and received a
digital certificate from a Government-approved certificate authority. Financial institutions are
not mandated to use PACS.
"WAIS Document Retrieval Page 1 of 3

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 31, Volume 1]
[Revised as of July 1, 2003]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 31CFR103.100]

[Page 399-401]



TRANSACTIONS--Table of Contents

Subpart H--Special Information Sharing Procedures To Deter Money
Laundering and Terrorist Activity

Sec. 103.100 Information sharing between Federal law enforcement agencies
and financial institutions.

(a) Definitions. For purposes of this section:
(1) The definitions in Sec. 103.90 apply.
(2) Financial institution means any financial institution described
in 31 U.S.C. 5312(a)(2).
(3) Transmittal of funds has the same meaning as provided in
Sec. 103.11(jj).
(b) Information requests based on credible evidence concerning
terrorist activity or money laundering.--(1) In general. A Federal law
enforcement agency investigating terrorist activity or money laundering
may request that FinCEN solicit, on the investigating agency's behalf,
certain information from a financial institution or a group of financial
institutions. When submitting such a request to FinCEN, the Federal law
enforcement agency shall provide

[[Page 400] ]

FinCEN with a written certification, in such form and manner as FinCEN
may prescribe. At a minimum, such certification must: state that each
individual, entity, or organization about which the Federal law
enforcement agency is seeking information is engaged in, or is
reasonably suspected based on credible evidence of engaging in,
terrorist activity or money laundering; include enough specific
identifiers, such as date of birth, address, and social security number,
that would permit a financial institution to differentiate between
common or similar names; and identify one person at the agency who can
be contacted with any questions relating to its request. Upon receiving
the requisite certification from the requesting Federal law enforcement
agency, FinCEN may require any financial institution to search its
records to determine whether the financial institution maintains or has
maintained accounts for, or has engaged in transactions with, any
specified individual, entity, or organization.
(2) Obligations of a financial institution receiving an information
request.--(i) Record search. Upon receiving an information request from
FinCEN under this section, a financial institution shall expeditiously
search its records to determine whether it maintains or has maintained
any account for, or has engaged in any transaction with, each
individual, entity, or organization named in FinCEN's request. A
financial institution may contact the Federal law enforcement agency
named in the information request provided to the institution by FinCEN 12/3/2003
(BILLING CODE: 4810-02-P)


31 CFR Part 103

RIN 1506-AA27

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network; Special Information Sharing Procedures

To Deter Money Laundering and Terrorist Activity

AGENCY: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Treasury.

ACTION: Final rule.

SUMMARY: FinCEN is issuing this final rule to encourage information sharing

among financial institutions and federal government law enforcement agencies for the

purpose of identifying, preventing, and deterring money laundering and terrorist


DATE: This final rule is effective [INSERT DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE



(703) 905-3590; Office of the Assistant General Counsel (Enforcement), (202) 622-

1927; or the Office of the Assistant General Counsel (Banking and Finance), (202) 622-

0480 (not toll-free numbers).


I. Statutory Provisions

On October 26, 2001, the President signed into law the Uniting and

Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and
Implementation of the Report of International
Transportation of Currency or Monetary
Instruments (CMIR)

OIG-03-062 March 4, 2003

Office of Inspector General

The Department of the Treasury


OIG-97-098 JUNE 12,1997

Office of Inspector General

United States Department of the Treasury
— " - Government Surveillance, Part One Page 1 of4

What's New

Privacy News and How the FinCEN system monitors your
financial activity Subscribe to our weekly
Current Editorial eNewsletter:

Editorial Archjve by Michael S. Hyatt

Who Is Michael S.
September 3, 2001 Subscribe
more info
When people understand what is happening
ths 5/te to their privacy, they often clamor for the
government to do something about it.
However, government is not the solution. In
fact, it's the problem. There is no organization
more committed to the concept of total
surveillance than the U.S. government. In the
next three weeks we will examine the three
Books primary systems it employs. The first of these
Computer and Internet
is the FinCEN system. Invasion of Privacy
Security Michael S. Hyatt
Financial Services
The front page of FinCEN's Web site reads: "The mission of
Bea_d sample chapters
the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network [FinCEN] is to
Other Privacy Links support law enforcement investigative efforts and foster
interagency and global cooperation against domestic and My Top Ten Favorite
international financial crimes; and to provide U.S. policy Privacy Books
makers with strategic analyses of domestic and worldwide
money-laundering developments, trends and patterns. identity, _Pnvacy^ and
FinCEN works towards those ends through information Personal Freedom
collection, analysis, and sharing, technological assistance, Sheldon Charrett
and innovative and cost-effective implementation of i±ide YojJLAssets_and
Treasury authorities." Disappear
Edmund J. Pankau
Translation: The government uses FinCEN to spy on us, in
How to_Be Invisible
order to know everything about how we spend our money. J. J. Luna

Actually, this isn't quite true. Really, our banks do the .htm 11/12/2003
Statement of James F. Sloan
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
U.S. Department of the Treasury
before the
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
Committee on Financial Services

March 11, 2003

Madam Chairwoman, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for this
opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the Financial Crimes Enforcement
Network's (FinCEN) role in combating money laundering and the fight against terrorist

FinCEN's role in this effort was significantly expanded in the eighteen months
following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center because of its mission-oriented
focus on facilitating information-sharing and networking amongst the law enforcement,
regulatory and financial communities and with similar units worldwide. The recent
formation of the new Executive Office for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes
(EOTF/FC) within the Department of The Treasury further underscores the value of
FinCEN's support to law enforcement in identifying and tracking the financial aspects of
terrorist and other criminal activity. FinCEN welcomes the establishment of this
important office, which will be responsible for providing policy guidance to our bureau
as we execute our responsibilities as Administrator of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). It
will be headed by Juan Zarate, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and
Financial Crimes. Mr. Zarate worked closely with our bureau in his former capacity as
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorism and Vio lent Crimes, within the Office of
Enforcement, and we look forward to a continuance of that excellent working

My statement today will update the committee on FinCEN's programs, as well as
the significant progress we have made in meeting our obligations under Title III of the
USA Patriot Act.


FinCEN was established, in April 1990, by the Department of the Treasury
(Treasury Order Number 105-08) to provide a government-wide, multi-source
intelligence and analytical network. This network was designed to support the detection,
investigation, and prosecution of domestic and international money laundering and other
financial crimes. In May 1994, FinCEN's operation was broadened to include regulatory
responsibilities and, in October 2001, the USA PATRIOT Act elevated FinCEN to
bureau status.

OIG-99-032 JANUARY 25,1999

Office of Inspector General

United States Department of the Treasury