Money Laundering, Terrorism & Financial Institutions
Published by Civic Research Institute,

USA PATRIOT Act Monitor News Release: FinCEN Information Requests Reinstated
2/7/2003 5:48:38 PM Eastern Standard Time

[prior MLT coverage: USA PATRIOT Act Monitor News Release: Joint Agency Rule (11/28/2002)]

FinCEN has announced that it is reinstating information requests under section 314(a) of the USA PATRIOT Act beginning the week of February 17. Significant changes to procedures include the following:
•314(a) requests from FinCEN will be batched and issued every two weeks, unless otherwise indicated in the request.
•After receiving a 314(a) request, financial institutions will have two weeks, rather than one week, to complete their searches and respond with any matches.
•Searches will be limited to specific records and, unless otherwise noted, will be a one-time search.
•If a financial institution identifies a match for a named subject, the institution need only 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 institution.

An institution receiving a request must search its records to determine whether it maintains or has maintained accounts for, or conducted transactions with an individual, entity, or organization listed in the request. The search must begin immediately, despite the 14-day time frame for responding. Records that need not be searched include:

(1) checks processed through an account to determine whether a named subject was a payee of a check;
(2) monetary instruments (e.g., cashier’s checks, money orders, or traveler’s checks) issued by your institution to determine whether a named subject was a payee of such an instrument;
(3) signature cards to determine whether a named subject is a signatory to an account (unless such a search is the only method to confirm whether a named subject maintains an account, as described above); and,
(4) reports (e.g., CTRs and SARs) that you previously filed with FinCEN.

Further details regarding the new procedures will be discussed in the February issue of the USA PATRIOT Act Monitor.


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