CUNA Comment Letter

Proposed Revisions to the Currency Transaction Report (CTR) Form

July 18, 2003

ATTN: PRA Comments – CTR Form
Office of Chief Counsel
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
Department of the Treasury
P.O. Box 39
Vienna, Virginia 22183

Dear Sir or Madam:

The Credit Union National Association appreciates this opportunity to comment on the changes to the Currency Transaction Report (CTR) form proposed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), including editorial changes to the instructions. CUNA represents over 90% of our nation’s 10,000 state and federal credit unions.

CUNA supports the proposed revisions to the CTR form because they would serve to improve the usefulness of the CTR to law enforcement. In particular, the addition of two distinct data collection blocks designated for transactions involving foreign currency -- “Foreign cash in” and “Foreign cash out” -- would assist law enforcement to better identify potential money laundering or terrorist financing activities.

CUNA also feels the proposed revisions, which clarify several items in the CTR, would facilitate the process of filling out the form by credit unions and other financial institutions. In particular, the clarification in the instructions section of the exchange rate to be used in transactions involving foreign currency is helpful. In our view, using the U.S. dollar equivalent on the day of the transaction is reasonable for financial institutions. The clarification indicating that a Magnetic Character Recognition (MICR) number is the financial institution’s routing number is a practical one. Finally, we support the renumbering of the CTR form from IRS Form 4789 to FinCEN Form 104. This renumbering is part of FinCEN’s efforts to standardize Bank Secrecy Act forms, which CUNA commends. We recommend that the line under Section B -- Individual(s) Conducting Transaction(s) (if other than above) -- which contains Boxes a (Armored Car Service) through e (Conducted on Own Behalf) be made more conspicuous, such as increasing the font size or moving those boxes higher up on the form.

CUNA would like to make one suggestion with regard to reporting transactions involving foreign currency. We encourage FinCEN to designate a Web site for financial institutions to use to obtain exchange rate information for CTRs.

We understand that at this point FinCEN has decided, in fact, not to include a data collection box (37a) in Part III, Financial Institution Where Transaction(s) Takes Place, for listing a foreign country code. If FinCEN should decide to include such a data collection box, CUNA recommends updating the CTR instructions with appropriate guidance and requesting public comments.

Thank you for the opportunity to share our comments. If you have any further questions, please contact Mary Dunn (mdunn@cuna.com) or Catherine Orr (corr@cuna.com) at our e-mail addresses or at (202) 638-5777.

Sincerely,

Mary Mitchell Dunn
Associate General Counsel

Catherine Orr
Senior Regulatory Counsel