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Question: The article entitled "The $3,000 Log is Gone Forever...But" in Volume V, No. 3 causes me great concern! I have just received a copy of 31 CFR Part 103-Financial Recordkeeping and Reporting of Currency and Foreign Transactions (effective, as amended, October 17, 1994). Unless I am missing some small print, I cannot find where financial institutions are no longer required to keep a monetary log. As I read the amendment, it does state significant changes, but it does NOT say anything about eliminating the log. Help!

Answer: You know, as well as I do, that agency creative writers in Washington don't write so that you can easily understand and translate what they mean! Before I wrote the article about the log being "history", I heard the speeches by Peter Djinis and Stan Morris (Office of Financial Enforcement and FinCEN, respectively). I also had the press release in hand from the Department of the Treasury that said, in part, "Effective Friday, Treasury has modified the recordkeeping requirements for cash purchases of certain monetary instruments (money orders, cashier's and traveler's checks). Since almost all of the information required under the new regulations is kept in the normal course of business, Treasury is eliminating the requirement to maintain centralized, chronological logs of such purchases. Treasury also has withdrawn proposed regulations which would have required certain financial institutions to adopt systems to aggregate and to file magnetic reports of large currency transactions."

In the Federal Register on October 17, page 52251, you'll see "Treasury rescinds the requirement for centralized chronological log(s) for sales of monetary instruments. Instead, financial institutions will be required to obtain and maintain records of certain information and may keep them in any format". What I'm hearing from compliance officers is that, having trained all front line people on filling out the logs, they are just keeping the system in place as a matter of BSA policy. This ensures the information necessary is still being recorded. You know, "...if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Copyright © 1994 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 5, No. 4, 12/94

First published on 12/01/1994

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