CUNA Comment Letter

Revised FinCEN Designation of Exempt Person Form

March 4, 2005

Federal Trade Commission
Office of the Secretary
Room 159-H (Annex Y)
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580

RE:     Revised “Designation of Exempt Person” Form

Dear Sir or Madam:

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is pleased to provide comments on the Financial Crime Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN’s) proposed revised version of its "Designation of Exempt Person" form. This form is used by credit unions and other depository institutions to designate their eligible members/customers as exempt from the requirement to report transactions in currency over $10,000, meaning the institution does not have to file Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) on those particular members/customers. The information on the form is used by FinCEN to determine whether the institution has properly exempted its members/customers. By way of background, CUNA is the largest credit union trade association, representing approximately 90% of our nation’s nearly 9,300 state and federal credit unions.

CUNA commends FinCEN for its efforts to revise the “Designation of Exempt Person” form in response to suggestions received from regulators and financial institutions as well as in response to questions received on the FinCEN Helpline. First, we believe the proposed simplification of the data elements and reformatting of the boxes will make the form more user-friendly for credit unions and other financial institutions to fill out. Second, the expanded instructions section that discusses each line item and provides additional clarifications will help to ensure that financial institutions understand how to accurately complete the form. In particular, we appreciate that credit unions are specifically mentioned as being covered by the term "bank" with respect to persons of authorization to exempt members/customers from CTR filing. Third, we think it is beneficial that the instructions indicate that the form can be e-filed through the Patriot Act Communications System (PACS), the highly secure Internet service. Use of the PACS can substantially expedite the filing process for credit unions and other financial institutions. Finally, the form states at the top in the center that previous editions of the "Designation of Exempt Person" form will not be accepted after June 30, 2006. However, in the left-hand box at the top it states previous editions will not be accepted after January 2006. CUNA would appreciate clarification of this discrepancy in the final revised document.

Thank you for the opportunity to share our comments. If you have questions about this letter, please feel free to contact me by e-mail at corr@cuna.com or by phone at (202) 508-6743.

Sincerely,

Catherine A. Orr
Senior Regulatory Counsel