CUNA Comment Letter

Revised Suspcious Activity Report Forms

November 29, 1999

Mr. James L. Baylen, Clearance Officer
National Credit Union Administration,
1775 Duke Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
Department of the Treasury
Suite 200, 2070 Chain Bridge Road
Vienna, Virginia 22182

Attention: Revised SAR; FinCEN 1506-0001; NCUA: 3133-0094

Dear Mr. Baylen:

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the notice submitted by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the financial institution regulators, which was published in the Federal Register on September 28, 1999. As a national trade association, CUNA represents more than 90 percent of the nation’s 11,000 state and federal credit unions.

The notice sought comments on proposed revisions to the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) form, which financial institutions must use to report known or suspected criminal activities to the appropriate law enforcement agencies and financial institution regulators. The revisions to the form would make a number of ministerial changes without making substantial additions to the type of information that is collected.

CUNA supports the changes, including those that conform all date items to a four-digit year; provide space to collect a complete zip code and higher dollar amounts; delete certain information; ask for contact information for enforcement agencies contacted by the financial institution; and add “computer intrusion-- as a suspicious activity.

CUNA suggests an additional change to allow a credit union to report a date range instead of just a single date. This change may help when a credit union finds a pattern of suspicious activity that occurs over time.

CUNA requests that FinCEN make the following changes to reduce burden to financial institutions. CUNA suggests that the new SAR form be electronically available so that institutions can download, print, and e-mail it. To help with this process, FinCEN should have a new e-mail address for SAR forms. In addition, a FinCEN advisory that requires credit unions to file supplemental reports on suspicious activity is burdensome. This requirement places no time limit on how long supplemental reports must be filed, and that means credit unions may be forced to monitor a member account where suspicious activity has occurred indefinitely. Therefore, the requirement to file supplemental reports should be limited to a year, so that credit unions are not forced to administratively track a suspicious account forever.

CUNA commends the agencies for updating the SAR form and supports these efforts. If you have any questions about CUNA’s other suggestions, please feel free to contact me at (202) 218-7766.

Sincerely,

Michelle Q. Profit
Assistant General Counsel