The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), along with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Office of Thrift Supervision, has issued the attached interagency guidance for banking organizations on sharing Suspicious Activity Reports with head offices and controlling companies (as defined in the guidance). The guidance confirms that: (1) a U.S. branch or agency of a foreign bank may disclose a Suspicious Activity Report to its head office outside the United States; and (2) a U.S. depository institution may disclose a Suspicious Activity Report to controlling companies whether domestic or foreign. The guidance notes that banking organizations should maintain appropriate arrangements for the protection of confidentiality of Suspicious Activity Reports.
The guidance does not address whether a banking organization may share a Suspicious Activity Report with an affiliate other than a controlling company or head office, whether located inside the United States or abroad. Until further guidance is issued, banking organizations should not share Suspicious Activity Reports with such affiliates.
FinCEN has concurrently issued similar guidance (also attached) for securities broker-dealers, futures commission merchants, and introducing brokers in commodities.
This SR letter should be distributed to the appropriate management and compliance personnel at the domestic and foreign banking organizations supervised by the Federal Reserve, and Reserve Banks should distribute this SR letter to supervisory and examination staff. If you have any questions, please contact Nina A. Nichols, Assistant Director, at (202) 452-2961, or Bridget M. Neill, Assistant Director, at (202) 452-5235.