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#1971407 - 10/23/14 03:25 PM FinCENs CTR Reference Guide
Compli(cated) Offline
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Posts: 185
Wisconsin
We are filing a rather high number of structuring SARs; it is growing monthly because the original ones need continuing activity ones to be filed.

An idea to mitigate this was floated since management is not too inclined to just close those accounts: at the time of filing a renewal SAR (we'd still file it) send the customer a letter stating something along the lines of: "transaction patterns in your account seem to indicate sructuring", include FinCEN's Notice to Customers: A CTR Reference Guide and tell them that the activity needs to stop or the account will be closed or they can call us to explain how it is not structuring.

I know we can't tell them about filing SARs and nothing would be menioned about that, but would this be too close to that?
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#1971414 - 10/23/14 03:41 PM Re: FinCENs CTR Reference Guide Compli(cated)
ACBbank Offline
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New York City
I would be hesitant to accuse any customer of structuring, implicitly or not. It's been my experience that if you provide the customer with the pamphlet, most will stop and the few that continue their pattern can be exited with minimal complaints from the BU.

BTW, make sure to reference in your SAR filing that you've provided the customer with the FinCEN pamphlet. Law enforcement loves that.
Last edited by ACBbank; 10/23/14 03:43 PM. Reason: Added more detail
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#1971426 - 10/23/14 04:04 PM Re: FinCENs CTR Reference Guide Compli(cated)
edAudit Offline
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since management is not too inclined to just close those accounts

So management would rather have accounts that are not profitable due to the amount of work that compliance must do on these? yet alone the risk of missing one that your regulator will find.
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#1971427 - 10/23/14 04:07 PM Re: FinCENs CTR Reference Guide Compli(cated)
Compli(cated) Offline
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Wisconsin
Unfortunately, it does not appear that management has any idea what managing the SARs takes and there most certainly is no cost-benefit analysis.
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#1971473 - 10/23/14 05:19 PM Re: FinCENs CTR Reference Guide Compli(cated)
Sherlocked Offline
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221B Baker St.
We have the FinCEN pamphlet posted at teller windows, and if we see structuring we mail the customer the pamphlet also. Has worked wonderfully so far!
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#1971486 - 10/23/14 05:47 PM Re: FinCENs CTR Reference Guide Compli(cated)
Compli(cated) Offline
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Wisconsin
Sherlocked - glad to hear that you've tested this strategy. Do you mail anything else along with the pamphlet (i.e. a letter)?
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#1971542 - 10/23/14 06:59 PM Re: FinCENs CTR Reference Guide Compli(cated)
*W*W* Offline
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Sherlocked- Do you send an explanation with the pamphlet? If so, what do you say in the explanation?
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#1971674 - 10/23/14 09:46 PM Re: FinCENs CTR Reference Guide Compli(cated)
John Burnett Offline
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Cape Cod
I'd stay away from explanations.
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#1971734 - 10/24/14 01:36 PM Re: FinCENs CTR Reference Guide Compli(cated)
Compli(cated) Offline
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Wisconsin
John, are you saying to just mail the pamphlet on its own? Or say something generic like "please review the enclosed materials and let us know if you have any questions"?
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#1971939 - 10/24/14 06:40 PM Re: FinCENs CTR Reference Guide Compli(cated)
Sherlocked Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 82
221B Baker St.
Just put it in an envelope and mail. No explanation. They get the message LOL. Can't be misunderstood.
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#1971953 - 10/24/14 07:16 PM Re: FinCENs CTR Reference Guide Compli(cated)
John Burnett Offline
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Cape Cod
Or, you can do what Compli(cated) suggests. But use a small piece of letterhead. wink
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#1972015 - 10/24/14 09:57 PM Re: FinCENs CTR Reference Guide Compli(cated)
EB, CAMS Offline
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flyover country
We have sent the pamphlet to structurers. They call back and "give an explanation" for their activity. It can be quite comical.

We document when it was sent, include it in the SAR narrative and watch to see what their activity does AFTER the notification. IMO if the activity drastically changes, they become more suspect.
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#1972043 - 10/27/14 11:39 AM Re: FinCENs CTR Reference Guide Compli(cated)
Pat Patriot Act Offline
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Posts: 450
IMHO, the decision to provide the Reference Guide should be based upon how likely you feel it is that the activity may actually be from a questionable source or for questionable purpose. If it's a convenience store that recently changed hands, sit them down and explain what the guide means and why you are gicing it to them (in a non accusatory manner that does not reveal SAR filing). Sometimes cash intensive business owners really do keep it under 10k to save their time filling out the form. Conversely, if it's a personal account followedby suspicious debits - just close the account.

Long story short: The decision to hand out the CTR Reference Guide shouldn't be automatic.
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