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#1844362 - 08/21/13 05:06 AM SAR Narrative -answering "why"
Anonymous
Unregistered

I recently received some advice from a consultant that SAR narratives should not directly state why the activity is suspicious. In other words, the filer should only mark reasons in the 'type of suspicious activity' boxes but should not say again in the narrative that the activity "appears to be structuring/mortgage fraud/a violation of X law because..." I've never heard of this approach before, and I don't know how this wouldn't land you with quality issues as FinCEN guidance and sample narratives suggest that you have to say WHY. Does anyone follow this practice?

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#1844372 - 08/21/13 12:42 PM Re: SAR Narrative -answering "why" Anonymous
James M. Moore Offline
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James M. Moore
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 110
Georgia
I highly recommend the following link:

http://www.fincen.gov/statutes_regs/files/sarnarrcompletguidfinal_112003.pdf

The examples of sufficient SAR narratives from the above link state "why" in example 1.
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James M. Moore, CRCM
My postings are not legal advice and may not be endorsed by my employer.

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#1844384 - 08/21/13 01:18 PM Re: SAR Narrative -answering "why" Anonymous
Kathleen O. Blanchard Offline

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Kathleen O. Blanchard
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 21,281
I can't imagine not stating why the bank feels the activity is suspicious. To not state that leaves a large gap in the SAR.

I also cannot imagine suggesting that to a bank.
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Kathleen O. Blanchard, CRCM "Kaybee"
HMDA/CRA Training/Consulting/Mapping
The HMDA Academy
www.kaybeescomplianceinsights.com

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#1844755 - 08/21/13 10:29 PM Re: SAR Narrative -answering "why" Anonymous
ACBbank Offline
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ACBbank
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,191
New York City
That is simply horrible advice. You're expected to detail why you believe the activity is suspicious in the narrative. I would recommend getting a new consultant.
_________________________
"100 victories in 100 battles isnt the most skillful. Subduing the other's military w/o battle is the most skillful." Sun-Tzu

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#1844771 - 08/22/13 02:49 AM Re: SAR Narrative -answering "why" Anonymous
rlcarey Online
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rlcarey
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 79,637
Galveston, TX
I agree, find a new consultant.
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The opinions expressed here should not be construed to be those of my employer: PPDocs.com

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#1844781 - 08/22/13 10:42 AM Re: SAR Narrative -answering "why" Anonymous
Elwood P. Dowd Offline
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Elwood P. Dowd
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 21,939
Next to Harvey
I've talked to law enforcement personnel who've read SARs that were apparently completed based on your consultant's advice. A long fact laden story that does not indicate "why" you think the activity is suspicious makes them furious. They are neither bankers nor mind readers so you must explain what you think the facts mean.

Any time you get advice that is contrary to something FinCEN has put in writing (the guidance linked above) you are listening to someone who is a threat to the quality of your program.
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In this world you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.

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#1845001 - 08/22/13 05:07 PM Re: SAR Narrative -answering "why" Anonymous
MrsSmithCRCM Offline
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MrsSmithCRCM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 169
Here for the moment
Agree with all of the above. When I was brand new to BSA (3 years ago), our examiner (FED) specifically instructed me to "ALWAYS" include a closing sentence/paragraph styled "This is suspicious because..." or something similar. I would definitely question the reasoning and grounds your consultant gave you that opinion... and then find a new consultant.

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#1845450 - 08/23/13 05:53 PM Re: SAR Narrative -answering "why" Anonymous
Neytiri Offline
Platinum Poster
Neytiri
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 645
Pandora
I always use my old auditing phrases: "It appears that.." and "has the appearance of..."

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