Page 1 of 2 1 2
Thread Options
#1523219 - 03/17/11 04:23 PM Creating a SAR committee
WonderWoman Offline
Diamond Poster
WonderWoman
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,108
gone fishin'
I'm considering creating a SAR committee.

Who should be involved?

Pros? Cons?
_________________________
My opinions are my own, and not that of my employer.

Return to Top
BSA/AML/CIP/OFAC Forum
#1523246 - 03/17/11 04:42 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee WonderWoman
ACBbank Offline
Power Poster
ACBbank
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,159
New York City
My personal opinion is that SAR Committee's are a total waste of time. From what I have seen in the past, unqualified people often vote "no" on SAR filings due to some ill-conceived point of view. This is usually the case when someone from retail is involved.

At the end of the day, if I'm on the hook for the decision, I'm making it.
_________________________
"100 victories in 100 battles isnt the most skillful. Subduing the other's military w/o battle is the most skillful." Sun-Tzu

Return to Top
#1523252 - 03/17/11 04:48 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee ACBbank
WonderWoman Offline
Diamond Poster
WonderWoman
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,108
gone fishin'
Believe me - I hear you on that one!

My issue comes in the form of - I wear too many hats & am in charge of multiple programs (BSA, CRA, Fraud, SOX) - a department of one.

I'm getting pushback from the branches, so I felt if I had Senior Management saying "close the account now" - I might have better oomph.

& if SM says "no - we're not closing it" - then that decision is also off my shoulders.
_________________________
My opinions are my own, and not that of my employer.

Return to Top
#1523253 - 03/17/11 04:48 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee ACBbank
rlcarey Online
10K Club
rlcarey
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 78,958
Galveston, TX
I somewhat agree also. I have also seen banks cited for failure to file SARs on time because the committee had to approve any filing and the SAR committee could never get together and the time went to beyond the 30 day discovery and it was a blatent SAR event.
_________________________
The opinions expressed here should not be construed to be those of my employer: PPDocs.com

Return to Top
#1523268 - 03/17/11 05:00 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee rlcarey
WonderWoman Offline
Diamond Poster
WonderWoman
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,108
gone fishin'
I guess I'm thinking more along the lines of a "closing committee".

The committee wouldn't decide to file or not file - that would already be completed by me.

The committee would decide the action to be taken on the customer.


However, I am scared I would be opening the door to the committee thinking they should decide on SARs.
Last edited by (not as) newbsa; 03/17/11 05:02 PM.
_________________________
My opinions are my own, and not that of my employer.

Return to Top
#1523278 - 03/17/11 05:04 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee rlcarey
Doug Hendrickson Offline
Power Poster
Doug Hendrickson
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,927
I'm of the mind that the decision to close or not close is ultimately that of Senior Management. The BSA Officer should make a strong enough case, documented, and present the recommendation to Senior Management. If they choose to ignore it, that is their prerogative, but you've done your job.


I wouldn not let a committee decide the close/no close.
Last edited by Doug Hendrickson; 03/17/11 05:04 PM.
_________________________
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.--Confucius

Return to Top
#1523284 - 03/17/11 05:08 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee WonderWoman
Dani York, CRCM Offline
Power Poster
Dani York, CRCM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,663
TN
Our committee is pretty informal. It's me, the CFO, the President, and sometimes the senior lender and the senior credit officer (depending on the customer and situation). I am ultimately responsible for making the decision to file. I like the committee, because it gives me a sounding board for those gray area cases, which are the only ones I even take to the committee. If it's a slam-dunk SAR decision, I just file and move on. The committee is more for discussion of the cases I am unsure of and gives me some perspective with which to make my decision.
_________________________
I can't herd the cats anymore, so I just set up the electric fences and let them fry when they stray out of bounds.

Return to Top
#1523289 - 03/17/11 05:11 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee Doug Hendrickson
rlcarey Online
10K Club
rlcarey
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 78,958
Galveston, TX
The decision to close any account should be based on two things.

1) Does this customer pose a risk to the instutition.

2) Is the customer profitable enough to support the continued monitoring and SAR filings in the future.

If the answer is 1)- yes or 2)-no, then management should close just close the account. What other discussion would need to happen?
_________________________
The opinions expressed here should not be construed to be those of my employer: PPDocs.com

Return to Top
#1523290 - 03/17/11 05:11 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee Dani York, CRCM
J2C Offline
Diamond Poster
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,475
Big Brother knows and that's a...
Originally Posted By: Dani York
Our committee is pretty informal. It's me, the CFO, the President, and sometimes the senior lender and the senior credit officer (depending on the customer and situation). I am ultimately responsible for making the decision to file. I like the committee, because it gives me a sounding board for those gray area cases, which are the only ones I even take to the committee. If it's a slam-dunk SAR decision, I just file and move on. The committee is more for discussion of the cases I am unsure of and gives me some perspective with which to make my decision.


Agreed. My committee consists of me (BSA/Compliance Officer), VP of Credit, Security Officer, VP of Deposit Ops and the CFO. Usually the only push back I get is from the CFO but I think he might have learned his lesson based on a comment the OCC made.
_________________________
My opinion is mine only- not my employer's!


Return to Top
#1523293 - 03/17/11 05:14 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee rlcarey
WonderWoman Offline
Diamond Poster
WonderWoman
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,108
gone fishin'
Originally Posted By: rlcarey
What other discussion would need to happen?



I guarantee 100% of us BSA Officers agree with your statement. It's just not reality.

Return to Top
#1523295 - 03/17/11 05:15 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee rlcarey
J2C Offline
Diamond Poster
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,475
Big Brother knows and that's a...
Originally Posted By: rlcarey
The decision to close any account should be based on two things.

1) Does this customer pose a risk to the instutition.

2) Is the customer profitable enough to support the continued monitoring and SAR filings in the future.

If the answer is 1)- yes or 2)-no, then management should close just close the account. What other discussion would need to happen?


Randy-- to you and most of us, it would only be that easy. I've heard everything from they are a good customer to let's just wait and see from management. For some reason they are always more concerned about the income generated from these accounts or the customer has built some kind of personal relationship with senior management.

I, as the BSA Officer and Compliance officer have no authority to close an account. I can certainly recommend it, but 9 times out of 10 it won't happen...even on customers we can clearly see there are problems with. It's really quite frustrating.
_________________________
My opinion is mine only- not my employer's!


Return to Top
#1523301 - 03/17/11 05:19 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee J2C
rlcarey Online
10K Club
rlcarey
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 78,958
Galveston, TX
Then someone needs to remind management what management means, it means protecting the safety of the organization and maximizing the return to the shareholders. I think many of these "so called" management people need to take a refresher in business school.
_________________________
The opinions expressed here should not be construed to be those of my employer: PPDocs.com

Return to Top
#1523309 - 03/17/11 05:22 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee rlcarey
WonderWoman Offline
Diamond Poster
WonderWoman
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,108
gone fishin'
Originally Posted By: rlcarey
Then someone needs to remind management what management means


You're hired. wink
_________________________
My opinions are my own, and not that of my employer.

Return to Top
#1523315 - 03/17/11 05:26 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee rlcarey
Doug Hendrickson Offline
Power Poster
Doug Hendrickson
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,927
Often I hear 'they are a good customer' without the officer having any concrete facts to support that statement. Yes, they come in often, they are nice people, they know 'such and such', but, ultimately, are they profitable? And does that profitablility outweigh the risks that the bank is taking in continuing the relationship? If you can, put the argument in terms of dollars and cents, since that is what they most understand (which could be profitablility versus CMP/reputational risk).
_________________________
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.--Confucius

Return to Top
#1523322 - 03/17/11 05:29 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee Doug Hendrickson
WonderWoman Offline
Diamond Poster
WonderWoman
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,108
gone fishin'
In a previous life - we used to have a mock analysis fee worksheet - except we added account monitoring to the schedule. Really helped show exactly the profitability of the customer.


maybe I'll bring that to life here ...
_________________________
My opinions are my own, and not that of my employer.

Return to Top
#1523324 - 03/17/11 05:30 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee rlcarey
J2C Offline
Diamond Poster
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,475
Big Brother knows and that's a...
Originally Posted By: rlcarey
Then someone needs to remind management what management means, it means protecting the safety of the organization and maximizing the return to the shareholders. I think many of these "so called" management people need to take a refresher in business school.


Oh, how I would LOVE for you to sit in my desk for just a day. Perhaps you could whip management into shape here. No matter what I say or show them there is always a struggle. ALWAYS. And then when the S&^% hits the fan...they are the first to ask why we didn't do something earlier.
_________________________
My opinion is mine only- not my employer's!


Return to Top
#1523347 - 03/17/11 05:41 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee Doug Hendrickson
edAudit Offline
Power Poster
edAudit
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 4,765
You are here
Originally Posted By: Doug Hendrickson
Often I hear 'they are a good customer' without the officer having any concrete facts to support that statement. Yes, they come in often, they are nice people, they know 'such and such', but, ultimately, are they profitable? And does that profitablility outweigh the risks that the bank is taking in continuing the relationship? If you can, put the argument in terms of dollars and cents, since that is what they most understand (which could be profitablility versus CMP/reputational risk).


And do not forget to add the additional compliance cost to these "good" customers.
_________________________
Opinions can be considered as coming from anywhere but my employer.

CAMS


Return to Top
#1523367 - 03/17/11 05:49 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee J2C
Pat Patriot Act Offline
Gold Star
Pat Patriot Act
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 450
Since the general consensus in this thread is anti-committee, I'll argue in favor of the approach. In my opinion, it strengthens your decision-making process, especially for no-file cases. As a result, you can limit defensive filings and maximize your bank's resources. Also, with the right mix of people (compliance/BSA/security), it can enhance the investigation process at times. For example, a member of our committee is a CPA and tax preparer, and has been able to shed light on potential tax evasion cases. You can't expect BSA/AML staff to know everything about everything, so a Committee with diverse experiences can be a huge positive.
_________________________
CFE, CAMS

Return to Top
#1523377 - 03/17/11 05:54 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee Pat Patriot Act
rlcarey Online
10K Club
rlcarey
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 78,958
Galveston, TX
"Since the general consensus in this thread is anti-committee"

I only somewhat agreed smile

I'm not anti-committee, but I see a lot that are not well structured and served no real purpose. If you want to have a committee, create a committee charter and outline exactly what they are going to do and what their responsibilities are and make sure those things transcend what one well trained person should be able to handle. Once you get it all on paper, you can decide if it is necessary.
_________________________
The opinions expressed here should not be construed to be those of my employer: PPDocs.com

Return to Top
#1523408 - 03/17/11 06:16 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee rlcarey
Retread Offline
Power Poster
Retread
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,548
Southeast
"Often I hear 'they are a good customer' without the officer having any concrete facts to support that statement. Yes, they come in often, they are nice people, they know 'such and such'"

Sometimes when I hear that, I say "That's why they call them con artists".
_________________________
Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason.

Return to Top
#1523413 - 03/17/11 06:24 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee Retread
Kathleen O. Blanchard Offline

10K Club
Kathleen O. Blanchard
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 21,277
I personally had a "committee" but BSA had the final say. If BSA is the one to get beat up and have the responsibility, I wanted them to have that say. Legal and security were on the committee and others as we needed them to drag info out of them.

We used it to quiz security (who were reluctant) on what was happening, to find out what legal was working on that might also be reportable, etc. It was a way to pin them down rather than doing that checking piecemeal. We also found their knowledge of the customers useful many times and used it for that purpose.

The committee met at least 2x a month and if something blatant came up BSA filed and just let them know.

It was structured to never slow things down and to not undermine BSA. At that bank, legal was a BSA champion and we used them to support our actions with those in senior management who were reluctant.
_________________________
Kathleen O. Blanchard, CRCM "Kaybee"
HMDA/CRA Training/Consulting/Mapping
The HMDA Academy
www.kaybeescomplianceinsights.com

Return to Top
#1523437 - 03/17/11 06:58 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee Pat Patriot Act
Doug Hendrickson Offline
Power Poster
Doug Hendrickson
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,927
I'm not anti-committee, just anti-committee decision making. The committee should act as an advisory group to give you the benefit of their experience/knowledge, but the decision is the BSA's and the BSA's alone. And if folks can't make the meeting, I wouldn't wait on them; usually if something is important to someone, they make the time.
_________________________
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.--Confucius

Return to Top
#1523546 - 03/17/11 08:47 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee Doug Hendrickson
SnowRed Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 42
East Coast
We instituted a SAR Committee after being cited by our regulators. The previous BSA officer did not effectively document why a decision to NOT FILE was made. The Committee is comprised as me (BSA/Compliance officer), our risk management specialist (the person who does most of the CTR and SAR filing) and the SVP Of Risk Management. We meet and discuss every investigation to determine if it is SAR worthy. We also ratify additions to the high risk list, approve removals of customers from the list, and review periodic reviews of those on the high risk list. We review to see if 90 day SARs are needed. We keep minutes. Our regulator is very happy now.

Return to Top
#1524025 - 03/18/11 06:08 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee SnowRed
#Just Jay Offline
10K Club
#Just Jay
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 14,390
Cheeseheadland
Put me in anticommittee camp. What I found that seems to make the auditors and examiners happy is that as part of my bsa policy, upon the third filing of a sar for a customer, we take that sar and the previous to a subset of the.compliance committee. Usually myself, the CFO, and the affected department head. Of course though, if we.feel that an account needs to be closed sooner or if another type of immediate action is needed to be taken right away, that is.communicated right away. With our level of sar filings, this seems to pass muster for the time being.
_________________________
I don't repeat gossip, so listen closely...

Return to Top
#1524078 - 03/18/11 06:43 PM Re: Creating a SAR committee #Just Jay
BSABecky Offline
100 Club
BSABecky
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 126
Seymour, IN USA
I initially disliked the idea of a committee; we were pressured by examiners and adopted one that meets every other week at the same time and this has worked marvelously. All 'cases' are brought to the meeting, discussed, and filed or closed based on our findings. I would say 99% of the time, those bringing cases already know whether or not they will file. We just have to have more than one person agree. In the end, the BSA officer has the final say and more often than not, she errs on the side of filing a SAR.

Our examiners are happy and the other regulatory/operational areas (separate from us BSA folk at our FI, such as fraud) can't "hide" their cases.

What's great is that we hear about clients that we may have noticed in passing on a report or worklist that didn't break any BSA rules, but may need to be monitored.
_________________________
My opinions do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

Return to Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderator:  Andy_Z