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#1894357 - 02/06/14 05:39 PM SAR Deadline for Continuing Activity
Kelsey D Offline
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Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 516
Ohio
I noticed that the guidance for filing continuing reports in FinCEN's SAR Electronic Filing Requirements changed with version 1.3, which was released in December 2013. Version 1.2 allowed for a 120 day deadline for continuing reports, and version 1.3 does not. Has anyone changed their process for continuing reports to ensure that SARs are now filed every 90 days?

VERSION 1.2

Quote:
4. Continuing Reports: A continuing report should be filed on suspicious activity that continues after an initial FinCEN SAR is filed. Financial institutions with SAR requirements may file SARs for continuing activity after a 90 day review with the filing deadline being 120 days after the date of the previously related SAR filing. Financial institutions may also file SARs on continuing activity earlier than the 120 day deadline if the institution believes the activity warrants earlier review by law enforcement...


VERSION 1.3

Quote:
4. Continuing Reports: A continuing report should be filed on suspicious activity that continues after an initial FinCEN SAR is filed. Continuing reports should be filed at least every 90 days until the suspicious activity ceases...
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#1894432 - 02/06/14 06:45 PM Re: SAR Deadline for Continuing Activity Kelsey D
Elwood P. Dowd Offline
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Elwood P. Dowd
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As it reverts to the standard that was publicly changed in the Trends, Tips, and Issues publication in 2012 and the SAR FAQ's published in May of 2013, I assume it is in error.

Call the Helpline and ask. I did. Receiving more than one question may help spur a response...

Nice catch...
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#1894749 - 02/07/14 02:46 PM Re: SAR Deadline for Continuing Activity Kelsey D
Kelsey D Offline
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Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 516
Ohio
FinCEN called me back this morning and referred to the FAQ below for the answer to my question. 120 days it is. He wasn't able to give me an explanation as to why the latest version of the SAR instructions states that continuing reports are to be filed at least every 90 days with no mention of the 120 day deadline. I pointed out that the FAQ and instructions contradict each other and requested that they consider that when preparing version 1.4.

Quote:
16. What is the filing timeframe for submitting a continuing activity report?

FinCEN provided clarifying guidance on this question in Section 4 (Page 53) of SAR Activity Review Trends, Tips, & Issues #21. The guidance states “Financial institutions with SAR requirements may file SARs for continuing activity after a 90-day review with the filing deadline being 120 days after the date of the previously related SAR filing. Financial institutions may also file SARs on continuing activity earlier than the 120-day deadline if the institution believes the activity warrants earlier review by law enforcement.”

So, for filings where a subject has been identified, the timeline is as follows:
•Identification of suspicious activity and subject: Day 0.
•Deadline for initial SAR filing: Day 30.
•End of 90 day review: Day 120.
•Deadline for continuing activity SAR with subject information: Day 150 (120 days from the date of the initial filing on Day 30).
•If the activity continues, this timeframe will result in three SARs filed over a 12-month period.
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#1894762 - 02/07/14 02:55 PM Re: SAR Deadline for Continuing Activity Kelsey D
Elwood P. Dowd Offline
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Elwood P. Dowd
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 21,939
Next to Harvey
Good, because the discrepancy between the instructions and the FAQ's was going to be hard (if not impossible) to rationalize. I also submitted an inquiry through other channels...

Response: We should expect that the next set of SAR Instructions will be consistent with Question 16 above.
Last edited by Ken_Pegasus; 02/10/14 05:25 PM. Reason: Add response
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#2005240 - 03/31/15 03:47 PM Re: SAR Deadline for Continuing Activity Kelsey D
Kelsey D Offline
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Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 516
Ohio
Back at it again now that version 1.4 has come out and did not revert back to the 120-day requirement. Here is what I sent to FinCEN this time around...

Good morning!

Can someone please rationalize the discrepancy between the FinCEN SAR Electronic Filing Requirements and the FAQ regarding the deadline for filing SARs for continuing activity? I first spoke to FinCEN regarding this discrepancy when version 1.3 of the instructions came out, changing the 120-day allotment provided in version 1.2 to 90 days in version 1.3. They informed me that the FAQ was correct and that the next version of the instructions would be corrected. I’m reading version 1.4 now and see that there is still a discrepancy between the instructions and that FAQ. Please advise as to which is correct.

Quote:
FinCEN SAR Electronic Filing Requirements version 1.4

4. Continuing Reports: A continuing report should be filed on suspicious activity that continues after an initial FinCEN SAR is filed. Continuing reports should be filed at least every 90 days until the suspicious activity ceases. Continuing reports must be completed in their entirety, including the information about all subjects involved in the suspicious activity and all financial institutions where the activity occurred. The continuing report Part V narrative should include all details of the suspicious activity for the 90-day period encompassed by the report, and only such data from prior reports as is necessary to understand the activity. Do not reproduce the narratives from prior reports in the continuing report. Provide both the dollar amount involved in the suspicious activity for the 90-day period in Item 26 and the cumulative dollar amount for the current and all prior related reports in Item 28. If continuing losses are involved for any financial institution recorded in Part III, record the 90-day loss in Item 63 and the cumulative loss in Part V.


Quote:
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the FinCEN Suspicious Activity Report (SAR)

16. What is the filing timeframe for submitting a continuing activity report?

FinCEN provided clarifying guidance on this question in Section 4 (Page 53) of SAR Activity Review Trends, Tips, & Issues #21. The guidance states “Financial institutions with SAR requirements may file SARs for continuing activity after a 90-day review with the filing deadline being 120 days after the date of the previously related SAR filing. Financial institutions may also file SARs on continuing activity earlier than the 120-day deadline if the institution believes the activity warrants earlier review by law enforcement.”

So, for filings where a subject has been identified, the timeline is as follows:
•Identification of suspicious activity and subject: Day 0.
•Deadline for initial SAR filing: Day 30.
•End of 90 day review: Day 120.
•Deadline for continuing activity SAR with subject information: Day 150 (120 days from the date of the initial filing on Day 30).
•If the activity continues, this timeframe will result in three SARs filed over a 12-month period.
_________________________
Don't make me say, "I told you so!" Sincerely, your friendly Compliance Officer.

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