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314(b) Information Sharing Update

By Mary Beth Guard

If you haven't yet filed your Notice of Intent to Share Information about possible money laundering or terrorist activities with other financial institutions under Section 314(b) of the USA PATRIOT Act, what are you waiting for? If you have filed a Notice of Intent to Share, we have news about the status of the list showing such institutions.

Benefits of Filing
Voluntary information sharing between financial institutions is permitted under procedures specified in Section 314(b) of the USA PATRIOT Act and its implementing regulation, 31 CFR 103.110. One of the benefits of this type of information sharing is that you may be able to reduce your own institution's fraud losses. Another is that you are helping to fight terrorism.

What makes following the procedure in Section 314(b) attractive is the safe harbor from liability. The law provides, in pertinent part:

"A financial institution or association that transmits, receives, or shares such information for the purposes of identifying and reporting activities that may involve terrorist acts or money laun-dering activities shall not be liable to any person under any law or regulation of the United States, any constitution, law, or regula-tion of any State or political subdivision thereof, or under any contract or other legally enforceable agreement (including any arbitration agreement), for such disclosure or for any failure to provide notice of such disclosure to the person who is the subject of such disclosure, or any other person identified in the disclosure, except where such transmission, receipt, or sharing violates this section or regulations promulgated pursuant to this section."

Procedure to Follow
The protection is only applicable, however, if you make the disclosure in compliance with the statute and the regulation. That means:
1. You must properly complete and file the Notice of Intent to Share. The notice form is available on FinCEN's Web site and may be completed and submitted electronically. Doublecheck everything before you hit the Submit button.
2. Refile the notice annually. It's only good for one year from the date of the notice.
3. Share only with other financial institutions that have similarly filed a Notice of Intent to Share.

Originally, FinCEN had indicated that it would publish a list of all financial institutions that had filed notice under 314(b) and that list could be checked by a financial institution before it attempted to share information with another. It is our understanding that the list is now being transmitted directly to institutions that have filed their notice (rather than it being posted on a Web site.) It will only be updated quarterly, so if the institution you seek to share with (or your institution) is not on the latest list, you can request (or in the case of your own institution, provide) a copy of FinCEN's confirmation of the notice of intent to share.

Copyright, 2003, Bankers Online. First published on 03/06/03. Updated 3/31/03

First published on 03/06/2003

Last updated on 03/31/03

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