January 31, 2022

FinCEN proposes pilot program that would enable SAR sharing with foreign affiliates

On January 24, 2022, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a proposal to establish a limited-duration pilot program that would permit financial institutions with suspicious activity report (SAR) reporting obligations to share SARs and SAR-related information with the institutions’ foreign branches, subsidiaries and affiliates subject to FinCEN approval and conditions, in accordance with Section 6212 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020.  FinCEN issued the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to ensure that all SAR-related information is shared in a manner that preserves data security and protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information, with appropriate safeguards set by federal and state law enforcement authorities.  Prior to issuing the proposed rule, FinCEN had issued guidance on the sharing of SARs within a corporate organizational structure advising financial institutions to only share SARs with head offices, domestic or foreign controlling companies, and domestic affiliates.  

FinCEN is seeking public comment on the NPRM and has strongly encouraged interested parties to provide feedback on the proposed pilot program, including information on any anticipated technical challenges, expected costs and benefits, the merits of quarterly reporting, and ways to protect SAR confidentiality.  All comments submitted by the public must be received on or before March 28, 2022.

FinCEN Press Release | Proposed rule – SAR pilot program