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Bank Secrecy Act: Information Sharing with Law Enforcement

Mon, Jul 31, 2017

Section 314(a) of the USA Patriot Act authorized law enforcement authorities to communicate with financial institutions about suspected money launderers and terrorists (§1010.520).

A request for information under section 314(a) (referred to as a “314(a) request”) will be made by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Generally, the requests will be batched and issued every two weeks and financial institutions, including credit unions, will have two weeks to respond to the request.

Searches will be limited to specific records and, unless otherwise noted, will be a one-time search. If the credit union identifies a match for a named subject, it should stop its search of accounts for that suspect and respond to FinCEN that it has a match and provide point-of-contact information for the requesting law enforcement agency to follow-up directly with the credit union. Searches need only encompass current accounts and accounts maintained by a named subject during the preceding twelve (12) months, and transactions not linked to an account conducted by a named subject during the preceding six (6) months. Any record that is not maintained in electronic form need only be searched if it is required to be kept under federal law or regulation.

Credit unions are not required by a 314(a) request to close any account or take any other action with respect to an account or a transaction by virtue of a match with any named subject. Credit unions do not need to maintain the list of named subjects for the purpose of evaluating whether to open an account or to conduct a transaction, unless specific instructions accompanying a 314(a) request state otherwise.