Bank Secrecy Act Requests by Law Enforcement to Keep Accounts Open
FIL-55-2007 June 26, 2007
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued guidance to financial institutions to address law enforcement agency requests to keep open particular accounts.
On June 13, 2007, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued guidance for financial institutions with regard to requests by a law enforcement agency to keep particular accounts open. The guidance can be found at http://www.fincen.gov/Maintaining_Accounts_Guidance.html.
Ultimately, the decision to maintain or close an account should be made by a financial institution in accordance with its own standards and guidelines.
In the event of a request, the financial institution should ask for a written request that states the purpose of the request and the duration, which should not exceed six months. FinCEN recommends that financial institutions maintain documentation of such requests for at least five years after the request has expired.
If the financial institution chooses to maintain the account, it is required to comply with all applicable Bank Secrecy Act recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the requirement to file Suspicious Activity Reports, regardless of the status of the investigation.
FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)