USA’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has proposed a limited-duration pilot program for sharing suspicious activity reports (SARs). Under the proposed pilot program, financial institutions obligated to submit SARs will be able to share SARs and related information with their foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates to enable them to fight AML/CFT risks. Note that this allowance will be subject to conditions and requirements related to data security and confidentiality. Moreover, the proposed rule takes into account the limitations imposed by US law enforcement as well as the intelligence community.
As per FinCEN’s previous guidance on SAR sharing in the public sector, financial institutions can share SARs with foreign head offices, domestic or foreign controlling companies, and domestic partners. The presently proposed rule seeks to start thus information sharing with a limited-duration pilot program for sharing SARs with foreign affiliates. This will allow FinCEN to gain important feedback about the benefits and challenges of SAR sharing for financial institutions, FinCEN as well as law enforcement.
FinCEN has sought public comment on the proposed rule, particularly on the establishment of the pilot program, expected costs, advantages, challenges, SAR confidentiality, etc. Such feedback will determine the rule that FinCEN ultimately issues. As such, FinCEN has invited all stakeholders to submit their written comments by March 28, 2022.