CUNA Comment Letter

Agency Information Collection for the Suspicious Activity Report by Depository Institutions

June 1, 2009

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
Attention: 1506-0001, Suspicious Activity Report by Depository Institutions
Post Office Box 39
Vienna, VA 22183

RE: FR Doc E9-7242 Agency Information Collection for the Suspicious Activity Report by Depository Institutions

To Whom It May Concern:

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Federal Banking Agencies’ notice and request for comments on the currently approved Suspicious Activity Report by Depository Institutions (SAR-DI). By way of background, CUNA is the largest credit union trade organization and represents approximately 90 percent of our nation’s 8200 state and federal credit unions, which serve more than 90 million members.

FinCEN, NCUA and the Federal Banking Supervisory Agencies (“the agencies”), as part of their continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, request comment on the information collection process. Specifically, they are seeking comments concerning the currently approved Suspicious Activity Report by Depository Institutions (SAR-DI) that is being reissued without change.

CUNA commends the agencies for their efforts thus far to minimize respondent burden in information collection requests, but believes there are some minor amendments that can be made to the Suspicious Activity Report for Depository Institutions (SAR-DI) that would make the completion and filing process more efficient for financial institutions.

CUNA suggests that the agencies adopt a more efficient process for amending or correcting SAR-DI forms previously submitted by financial institutions. Currently, in order to amend or correct an earlier SAR-DI submission, the financial institution would have to complete the report in its entirety, documenting the corrected information in the applicable boxes and then provide a description of the changes under Part V of the form. We suggest implementing a process under which a financial institution may reference the previous report (for example, via reference number) and submit only the new information without having to replicate the entire form. In the alternative, we suggest that the agencies adopt a process similar to that allowed when amending a previously submitted Currency Transaction Report (CTR). When updating a previously submitted CTR, a financial institution is allowed to attach a copy of the previous CTR to the amended copy and provide only Part III (financial institution) information and the new details on the amended form. CUNA believes adopting a similar approach for SAR-DI form amendments would be more efficient.

Also, CUNA suggests that the form be redesigned such that financial institutions are better able to provide additional narrative and suspect information in an easier and more effective manner. Currently, financial institutions that use a manual process to complete the SAR-DI form are required to print the entire form package in order to access additional pages for added narrative and suspect descriptions. We suggest that the agencies consider providing additional narrative and suspect pages similar to page two of the Currency Transaction Report (CTR), which allows financial institutions to document additional information when multiple individuals are involved in a transaction.

Finally, CUNA suggests that the agencies consider expanding the repetitive filing threshold beyond ninety (90) days. CUNA appreciates the value of the information that law enforcement may glean from repetitive filings. However, we believe a better balance can be struck between the value added for law enforcement and the burden of such filings on financial institutions. We suggest that the agencies expand the repetitive filing period beyond the current period in order to lessen the burden of these filings on financial institutions. Such an expansion would be beneficial to financial institutions, but would still provide law enforcement agencies with continued access to valuable information.

As noted above, CUNA believes implementing these minor changes would yield significant results in lessening the burden of such information filings on financial institutions. Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on the current SAR-DI form. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at 202-508-6739.


Nichole Seabron
Federal Compliance Counsel