Negative Database Defined
Question: I recently attended a seminar on the Bank Secrecy Act and we got into a discussion on whether or not to file a Suspicious Activity Report if the name of the person who applied for an account had over $10,000 cash and was on a "negative database." I'm not familiar with such an animal. Can you tell me what that is, please?
Answer: A negative database is one that contains negative information about individuals or companies. For instance, the file would list the names of known check fraud artists, charged off account names, etc. such as is kept by CheckSystems, TeleChek, SCAN, and others.
In the case of an application to open an account, the name given could be checked against the file to see if there is any record of problems attached to the name. If there is, the applicant is given an opportunity to clarify the reason for the information, or to contact the keeper of the database to correct it if it is in error. Individual financial institutions often keep their own in-house negative database also.
Copyright © 2003 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 13, No. 9, 12/03
First published on 12/01/2003