CUNA Comment Letter

Amendment to the Bank Secrecy Act – Reports of Foreign Financial Accounts

April 27, 2010

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
Department of Treasury
P.O. Box 39
Vienna, VA 22183

RE: Docket Number Fincen-2009-0008/RIN1506-AB08: Amendment to the Bank Secrecy Act – Reports of Foreign Financial Accounts

To Whom It May Concern:

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN’s) notice of proposed rulemaking amendments to the Bank Secrecy Act’s (BSA’s) Foreign Bank Account Report provisions. By way of background, CUNA is the largest credit union trade organization in this country, representing approximately 90 percent of our nation’s 7700 state and federal credit unions, which serve more than 3 million members.

The proposal provides helpful clarification with regard to Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) requirements. Specifically, the proposal provides clarity regarding which persons will be subject to the FBAR reporting requirements and which accounts will be reportable. It would also retain the exemption from reporting for certain persons with signature authority over foreign financial bank accounts. The proposal also includes a number of special rules that would simplify FBAR filings such as providing for consolidated reports, as well as exempting participants and beneficiaries of certain retirement plans from the FBAR filing requirement.

We commend FinCEN for taking steps to provide the industry with additional clarity on the FBAR requirements. CUNA generally supports FinCEN’s proposal. However, we believe additional clarification is needed regarding the exemption provided for officers and/or employees of financial institutions that have a federal regulator, when the officer and/or employee has signature or other authority over a foreign financial bank account but has no financial interest in that account. While we believe that this exemption is sufficient to exempt most of our institutions, we believe that some of our state-chartered credit unions would be negatively impacted if this exemption is provided only to federally-regulated institutions.

In light of that concern, we request that FinCEN extend this exemption to institutions that do not have a federal functional regulator as well.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this proposed rulemaking. If you have any questions concerning our letter, please do not hesitate to give Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn or me a call at 202-508-6739.

Sincerely,

Nichole Seabron
Federal Compliance Counsel