To All Depository Institutions and Others Concerned in the Second Federal Reserve District:
In a supervisory letter, dated May 28, 2003, the Federal Reserve Board, other federal financial institutions regulatory agencies, and Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced revisions to the Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) form. These revisions will be effective on July 1, 2003. The newly revised SAR form adds two check boxes to Part III for noting known or suspected terrorist financing activities and identity theft, and updates the "safe harbor" language in the SAR instructions to reflect changes made by the USA PATRIOT Act.
Since 1996, the federal financial institution supervisory agencies and FinCEN have required banking organizations to report known or suspected violations of law as well as suspicious transactions on SAR forms. Law enforcement agencies use the information reported on the form to initiate investigations, and Federal Reserve staff uses the information in the examination and oversight of supervised institutions.
The Board's SAR rules apply to state member banks, bank holding companies and their nonbank subsidiaries that do not report on a different SAR form (for example, broker-dealers), Edge and agreement corporations, and the U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks supervised by the Federal Reserve.
The revised SAR form is attached.
Questions on this matter may be directed at this Bank to Robert Otero, Examining Officer, Legal and Compliance Risk Department.