BANK SECRECY ACT
Sharing Suspicious Activity Reports With Controlling Companies
January 20, 2006
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the federal banking agencies – the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift Supervision – are issuing the attached guidance to notify institutions when a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) can be shared with a holding company or other controlling company, or with the head office of a U.S. branch or agency of a foreign bank.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the federal banking agencies are providing guidance to confirm that sharing a SAR with a controlling company in accordance with specified procedures is acceptable.
A controlling company includes a bank or savings association holding company, or a company having the power directly or indirectly to direct the management or policies of an industrial loan company or a parent company, or to vote 25 percent or more of any class of voting shares of an industrial loan company or a parent company.
Sharing a SAR within an organization is allowable for the head office, or for the controlling entity or party to discharge its oversight responsibilities with respect to enterprise-wide risk management and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Accordingly, a bank or savings association (depository institution) may disclose a SAR to its controlling company(ies), whether domestic or foreign; and a U.S. branch or agency of a foreign bank may disclose a SAR to its head office outside the United States.
Depository institutions, as part of their anti-money laundering program, must have written confidentiality agreements or arrangements, and proper internal controls in place to protect the confidentiality of the SAR.
Please distribute this information to the appropriate personnel in your institution.
FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)