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Insurance Corporation

Each depositor insured to at least $250,000 per insured bank

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Inactive Financial Institution Letters

Bank Secrecy Act
Suspicious Activity Report Supporting Documentation
June 26, 2007

Summary: The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued guidance reminding financial institutions to provide all documentation supporting the filing of a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) upon request by FinCEN, appropriate law enforcement or a supervisory agency.


  • On June 13, 2007, FinCEN issued guidance clarifying the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requirement to provide supporting documentation to law enforcement or supervisory agencies, the description of supporting documentation, and the legal process for the disclosure of supporting documentation. The guidance can be found at
  • Financial institutions should take special care to verify that a requestor of information is, in fact, a representative of FinCEN, appropriate law enforcement or a supervisory agency. A financial institution should incorporate verification procedures into its BSA/anti-money laundering (AML) Compliance Program.
  • Supporting documentation includes all documents or records that a financial institution used in making the determination that certain activity required a SAR filing.
  • The manner in which a financial institution maintains supporting documentation can be defined by the institution and should be incorporated into its BSA/AML Compliance Program written procedures.
  • The Right to Financial Privacy Act generally prohibits financial institutions from disclosing a customer's financial records to a government agency without service of legal process, notice to the customer and an opportunity to challenge the disclosure. However, no such requirement applies when the financial institution provides the financial records or information to FinCEN or a supervisory agency in the exercise of its "supervisory, regulatory or monetary functions."

FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)

Suggested Routing:
Chief Executive Officer
BSA Compliance Officer

Related Topics:
Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering


Sr. Program Analyst Charles W. Collier at
SAS or (202) 898-3673

FDIC financial institution letters (FILs) may be accessed from the FDIC's Web site at:

To receive FILs electronically, please visit

Paper copies of FDIC financial institution letters may be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center, 3501 Fairfax Drive, Room E-1002, Arlington, VA 22226 (1-877-275-3342 or 703-562- 2200).

Last Updated 11/14/2018

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