FDIC Federal Register Citations
[Federal Register: June 19, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 117)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment
Request; Suspicious Activity Report
AGENCIES: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Department of the Treasury (FinCEN);
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Department of the Treasury (OCC);
Office of Thrift Supervision,
Department of the Treasury (OTS); Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
(FDIC); National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
ACTION: Submission for OMB review; joint comment request.
SUMMARY: In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction
Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), FinCEN, OCC, OTS, FDIC, and NCUA
(collectively, the ``agencies'') hereby give notice that they have
submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requests for
review of the information collections described below.
OCC, OTS, FDIC, NCUA, and FinCEN are submitting the
Activity Report (SAR) information collection to OMB for extension with
revision. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the
Board) also participated in this review. However, the Board, under its
Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) delegated authority, will publish a
separate final notice and submit its SAR information collection to OMB.
On February 17, 2006, the agencies and the Board, requested
comment on a major revision of the SAR form. OCC also requested
comments on all information collections contained in
12 CFR part 21 (``Minimum Security Devices and Procedures, Reports of
Suspicious Activities, and Bank Secrecy Act Compliance Program''). The
agencies have made the proposed changes, as well as additional changes
suggested by the commenters.
DATES: Written comments should be received on or before July 19, 2006.
ADDRESSES: Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to
any or all of the agencies. All comments, which should refer to the
associated OMB control numbers, will be shared among the agencies.
Direct all written comments as follows:
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network: Financial Crimes
Network, P.O. Box 39, Vienna, VA 22183, Attention: 1506-0001, Revised
Suspicious Activity Report by Depository Institutions. Comments also
may be submitted by electronic mail to the following Internet address:
firstname.lastname@example.org with the caption in the body of the text,
``Attention: 1506-0001, Revised Suspicious Activity Report by
Comptroller of the Currency: Communications Division, Office
Comptroller of the Currency, Public Information Room, Mailstop 1-5,
Attention: 1557-0180, 250 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20219. In
addition, comments may be sent by fax to (202) 874-4448, or by
electronic mail to
email@example.com. You can inspect and
photocopy the comments at the OCC's Public Information Room, 250 E
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20219. You can make an appointment to
inspect the comments by calling (202) 874-5043.
Additionally, you should send a copy of your comments to OCC
Officer, 1557-0180, by mail to U.S. Office of Management and Budget,
725 17th Street, NW.,
10235, Washington, DC 20503, or by fax
to (202) 395-6974.
Office of Thrift Supervision: Send comments, referring to the
collection by title of the proposal or by OMB control number, to OMB
and OTS at these addresses: Office of Information and Regulatory
Affairs, Attention: Desk Officer for OTS, U.S. Office of Management and
Budget, 725 17th Street, NW., Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, or by
fax to (202) 395-6974; and Information Collection Comments, Chief
Counsel's Office, Office of Thrift Supervision, 1700 G Street, NW.,
Washington, DC 20552; send a fax to (202) 906-6518; or send an e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org. The Office of Thrift
Supervision will post comments and the related index on its Internet
http://www.ots.treas.gov. In addition, interested persons may
inspect comments at the Public Reading Room, 1700 G Street, NW., by
appointment. To make an appointment, call (202) 906-5922, send an e-
mail to email@example.com,
or send a fax to (202) 906-7755.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: Written comments
addressed to Steve Hanft, Clearance Officer, Legal Division MB-3064,
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street, NW.,
Washington, DC 20429. Fax No.: (202) 898-3838. E-mail:
National Credit Union Administration: Clearance Officer: Mr.
M. McNamara, (703) 518-6447, National Credit Union Administration, 1775
Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3428, Fax No.: (703) 518-6489, E-
OMB: Alexander T. Hunt, (202) 395-7316, Office of Information
Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive
Office Building, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: You may request additional information
or a copy of the collection by contacting:
FinCEN: Regulatory Policy and Programs Division at (800)
OCC: You can request additional information or a copy of the
collection from Mary Gottlieb, OCC Clearance Officer, or Camille
Dickerson, (202) 874-5090, Legislative and Regulatory Activities
Division, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 250 E Street, SW.,
Washington, DC 20219.
OTS: Marilyn K. Burton, OTS Clearance Officer, at
firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 906-6467, or facsimile number (202)
906-6518, Litigation Division, Chief Counsel's Office, Office of Thrift
Supervision, 1700 G Street, NW., Washington, DC 20552.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: Steve Hanft, Legal
MB-3064, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street, NW.,
Washington, DC 20429, (202) 898-3907.
National Credit Union Administration: Tracy Sumpter, Office
Chief Information Officer, (703) 518-6444, or John K. Ianno, Office of
General Counsel, (703) 518-6540.
Title: Suspicious Activity Report. (The OCC is renewing all
information collections covered under the information collection
titled: ``(MA)--Minimum Security Devices and Procedures, Reports of
Suspicious Activities, and Bank Secrecy Act Compliance Program (12 CFR
Abstract: In 1985, the agencies issued procedures to be used
banks, thrifts, credit unions, their holding companies, and certain
other depository institutions operating in the United States to report
known or suspected criminal activities to the appropriate law
enforcement agencies and the agencies themselves. Beginning in 1994,
the agencies completely redesigned the reporting process. This redesign
resulted in the existing Suspicious Activity Report, which became
effective in April 1996.\1\
\1\ The report is authorized by the following rules: 31 CFR
103.18 (FinCEN); 12 CFR 21.11 (OCC); 12 CFR 563.180 (OTS); 12 CFR
353.3 (FDIC); 12 CFR 748.1 (NCUA). The rules were issued under the
authority of 31 U.S.C. 5318(g) (FinCEN); 12 U.S.C. 93a, 1818, 1881-
84, 3401-22, 31 U.S.C. 5318 (OCC); 12 U.S.C. 1463 and 1464 (OTS); 12
U.S.C. 93a, 1818, 1881-84, 3401-22 (FDIC); 12 U.S.C. 1766(a),
Comments Received: On February 17, 2006, FinCEN and the
regulators published a joint Federal Register notice (71 FR 8640)
seeking comment on proposed revisions to the existing SAR. The proposed
revisions to the form and instructions were published in the notice.
All comments received in response to the notice were carefully
considered. Those comments that the agencies believe will further
improve the form are included in the package that the agencies have
submitted to OMB for approval, as discussed below. The agencies are
publishing the second Federal Register notice regarding the new
Suspicious Activity Report by Depository Institutions (SAR-DI), as
required by the PRA. This second notice advises the public that the
agencies have submitted the proposed revisions to OMB for approval,
discusses the comments received, explains agency responses to the
comments, and requests additional comment.
Current Actions: The proposed revisions standardize the new
with the other SAR forms. The revisions were detailed in the first
Federal Register notice, a copy of which is posted on the FinCEN Web
These revisions and additions will improve the form's usefulness to law
enforcement and to the agencies.
Comments Received and Agency Action Taken. The agencies
generally favorable comments from 23 commenters regarding the first
notice. A majority of the commenters' suggestions involved policy
issues rather than comments affecting the form's data collection
elements. The following is a summary of the comments received:
1. Two commenters noted that law enforcement contact
had been moved to the narrative section.
Response: Noted. This change was made to simplify the form
done with the approval of law enforcement agencies.
2. Several commenters noted that use of the special responses
listed in the instructions were confusing and wondered if the data
cells such as SSN would accept the entries.
Response: Noted. FinCEN confirms that all cells except
Amount'' will accept alphanumeric entries. The instructions have been
changed so that filers need enter only ``XX'' in critical fields when
the information is unknown. A check box has been added to the ``Total
Amount'' cell to allow the indication ``unknown.''
3. Several commenters noted concern about removing the
institution contact name from the form.
Response: Noted. This action was taken with the approval of
agencies and law enforcement as a measure to protect the filer if a
SAR-DI was inadvertently disclosed.
4. Several commenters challenged the listed burden figure of
hour to complete the SAR-DI form.
Response: The one hour figure cited in the notice is the time
required to complete the form and does not include the routine
recordkeeping requirement. The burden has been adjusted to account for
5. Several commenters recommended that the reporting
limits be raised, time to file increased, and an exemption for filing
on domestic cases be provided.
Response: The agencies, FinCEN and law enforcement believe
reporting threshold limits and filing deadlines are appropriate as
proposed in the first notice, and do not believe that there is a need
for an exemption for filing on domestic cases.
6. Several commenters recommended adding various check boxes
existing form. Cells for tax evasion, PEP (politically exposed person),
MSB (money services business), and Non-Customer were requested.
Response: In each case the ``Other'' box may be checked and
appropriate entry made on the line provided. The agencies believe that
this is sufficient.
7. One commenter suggested adding ``or recurring'' to box 1a.
8. One commenter recommended moving the SAR-DI Part V
to another page.
Response: The agencies believe that moving the instructions
way would add to the form's length unnecessarily.
9. One commenter suggested that the space for the narrative
small and suggested re-numbering the instruction pages to ``a'', ``b'',
Response: The form's instructions direct the filer to use a
sheet of bond paper if more space is required. Re-numbering the form's
instruction pages with letters would not follow the IRS Style Guide,
which is the standard for BSA forms design.
10. One commenter questioned whether the government could use
of the information being collected on the SAR-DI.
11. Several commenters suggested that the ``optional'' tag be
removed from the internal file or control number box.
Response: The items tag was changed to ``If available'.
12. One commenter requested that reporting institutions be
to employ enhanced due diligence if more than one law enforcement
contact was made about a single report.
Response: FinCEN currently notifies Law Enforcement through
Gateway system. Therefore, the requested enhanced due diligence is not
13. Two commenters requested that a cell for an e-mail
a check box to indicate if the subject is an individual or an entity be
added to Part I of the form.
Response: The addition of an e-mail address box is accepted.
change is now included among the proposed revisions to the form. The
type of subject as an individual or entity should be apparent from the
information in the subject box.
14. One commenter suggested that Part II, Item 23a be divided
Response: The Federal Banking Agencies and FinCEN believe it
more appropriate for Law Enforcement or the Examiners to determine the
15. Two commenters requested a check box to indicate if
SAR's on the subject had been filed.
Response: This information is already available from the
16. A commenter questioned the need to include non-depository
institution regulators on the SAR-DI.
Response: Noted. This information is required if jointly
SAR with a non-depository institution.
17. One commenter suggested expanding the phone number cells
handle international numbers, modifying the DOB box, adding a reference
to e-filing, and also suggested that the form have ``free form'' boxes.
Response: Since the instructions already address each of
suggestions, no further changes need to be proposed.
18. In view of the joint filing capability of the revised
one commenter suggested changing the name from Depository Institutions
to Financial Institutions, and requested that ``amended, corrected, or
updated report'' be defined. It was also suggested that the type of
phone, i.e., cell, blackberry, etc., be indicated.
Response: This is the SAR for Depository Institutions and a
change would be inconsistent with this group of filers. The
instructions have been edited to define the terms. The type of phone is
not considered necessary.
19. Several commenters were concerned about the effective
the revised form. It was also suggested that an e-file ``beta'' test
site be used to insure functionality of the revised form.
Response: This notice identifies planned target dates for
implementation. These dates will be adjusted as necessary to provide
adequate planning lead-time. A ``beta'' e-filing test site is not
20. Several commenters requested joint filing guidance and
concern regarding information sharing.
Response: Guidance has been drafted and is currently under
The agencies expect to issue guidance prior to the effective date of
21. In response to a Treasury Inspector General finding,
a commenter recommended that a ``Date Discovered'' field be added to
the Suspicious Activity cell.
Response: After discussion, it was agreed that such a date
not be added to the report because it would be too subjective if more
than one suspicious activity was selected.
22. One commenter recommended that Part V, the narrative, be
restructured to provide specific examples of what information to
Response: The SAR narrative checklist and the SAR Activity
available on the FinCEN Web site, already provide sufficient guidance
the type of information recommended for inclusion in this part of the
23. One commenter commented on the proposed multiple changes
SAR and voiced their support for each.
24. One commenter and three of the banking agencies suggested
Part III be reformatted to provide space to record ``Holding Company''
information if the SAR is filed at the Enterprise level. The commenter
also suggested that the term ``Branch Office'' be renamed to ``Office''
as more inclusive and the term ``necessarily'' be removed from the
statement covering repeat information.
Response: Accepted. Part III of the SAR-DI has been
permit the recording of holding company information while correctly
listing the financial institution where the reported activity occurred
and the instructions have been edited accordingly. To retain the joint
filing format, the term ``Branch Office'' has been changed to ``branch
or office''. The term ``necessarily'' was deleted from the appropriate
25. One commenter suggested that the names of people who have
questioned the subjects be included in the report. It was also
suggested that the new internal control/file number is not needed. This
commenter approved of excluding the disclosure statements in the
Response: SAR Part V Checklist line ``e'' covers the
regarding subjects. In view of the removal of the filer's name, the
internal control/file number is extremely important in determining
which report is under discussion. The agencies therefore believe that
this item should remain.
26. One commenter noted that moving the relationship of
information from Part II to Part III posed a problem with reporting
Response: Accepted. The instructions have been revised to
the noted problem.
Special Instructions: The agencies are proposing an effective
of January 1, 2007, for all revisions to the Suspicious Activity Report
(SAR) form and instructions that are approved by OMB. The SAR form
included in this Federal Register notice is for training and system
configuration use only. Do not use this form to report suspicious
activity before January 1, 2007. Depository institutions may use the
current SAR dated July 2003 until June 30, 2007. Depository
institutions reporting possible terrorist-financed suspicious activity
must file a SAR as indicated above, but should also contact FinCEN's
Financial Institutions Hotline, (866) 556-3974, to report the activity.
Call FinCEN's Regulatory Helpline, (800) 949-2732, after January 1,
2007, for individual copies of the form. Visit FinCEN's Internet site,
http://www.fincen.gov, after January 1, 2007, for information about
obtaining bulk copies of the form or to obtain a fill-in version.
Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.
Affected Public: Business, for-profit institutions, and
Estimated Number of Respondents:
\3\ A respondent need only file one form. The estimated
per form is 60 minutes; this estimate does not allocate time between
or among agencies when copies of the form are filed to satisfy the
rules of more than one agency.
An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not
to respond to, a collection of information unless the collection of
information displays a valid OMB control number. A respondent must
retain the supporting records to the SAR for five years. Generally,
information collected pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act is confidential,
but may be shared as provided by law with regulatory and law
Request for Comments: Comments are invited on:
(a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for
proper performance of the functions of the agencies, including whether
the information shall have practical utility;
(b) The accuracy of the agencies' estimate of the burden of
collection of information, including the validity of the methodology
and assumptions used;
(c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the
information to be collected;
(d) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of
respondents, including through the use of automated collection
techniques or other forms of information technology; and
(e) Estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of
maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.
Attachment: Suspicious Activity Report by Depository Institutions
Dated: June 12, 2006.
Acting Associate Director, Regulatory Policy and Programs Division,
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Dated: June 2, 2006.
Assistant Director, Legislative and Regulatory Activities Division,
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Dated: June 13, 2006.
Senior Deputy Chief Counsel, Regulations and Legislation Division,
Office of Thrift Supervision.
By Order of the Board of Directors.
Dated at Washington, DC, this 8th day of June, 2006.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Robert E. Feldman,
By the National Credit Union Administration Board on June 6,
Secretary of the Board.
BILLING CODE 4810-02-P