Rockchucker - so you are saying that the clock does not start clicking until the BSA officer is notified - I agree with ACBbank - never heard of that before. Knowledge is institutional knowledge - not when it is brought to the BSA Officer's attention.
How about this? This is for a larger institution, and has so far passed years worth of audits and exams without an issue.
- All employees are trained to refer activity to BSA Officer
- BSA Officer and staff also use AML software to detect activity (noting that not all circumstances can be detected that way, such as, customer behavior or comments)
- BSA Officer chairs a SAR Committee that meets approx 2 times a month, or more often as needed
- We state in our BSA policy, which has Board approval, that no one person acting alone decisions activity as suspicious, instead it is the above Committee that is vested with that responsibility
- Our 30 day clock starts the date the committee decides if it is suspicious
- We try to never postpone or delay a decision; when we first see the case, we have to decide to file or nor and will file if in doubt
This does create situations like: activity on Jan 4th wasn't reviewed in time for the Jan 7th meeting. Next meeting is not till Jan 21st. If needed I would argue that we have until Feb 20th to file that SAR describing Jan 4th activity, even though a teller or branch manager may have noticed that activity on Jan 4th and referred it internally for a possible SAR.
But in practice, to avoid that argument being necessary, I'd move mountains to get that SAR filed by Feb 2nd anyway. Deciding it on Jan 21st and filing it by Feb 2nd is generally very manageable. Even filing on Feb 8th, I'm still pretty comfortable too. But in any event we're talking about a maximum of about 7 weeks, as opposed to OP's 3 month scenario. And I agree, if it's a matter of someone not bothering to tell BSA for 3 months, that's a big problem.