Cash In Safe Deposit Box

Posted By: Anonymous

Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/26/02 06:37 PM

We have a customer who is making a very large (almost 6 figure) cash withdrawal, and has informed the bank rep that he is opening up a safe deposit box and putting the cash in there. Once this transaction takes place (I know that we should not know what is going in the box, but we are not deaf), is a SAR warranted? We will be filing a CTR. (He also asked about insurance we have on our boxes !!!)
Posted By: Andy_Z

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/26/02 06:41 PM

More and more banks are now posting notices that safe deposit box contents are NOT insured. Once that cash leaves the account it is not even FDIC insured.

And while I've heard "banking myths" that cash in a SD box is illegal, I've never read it. No SAR, nothing illegal.
Posted By: Don_Narup

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/26/02 06:51 PM

It shouldn't make any difference to the bank where the customer decides to keep their cash. They could just as well keep it a can in the back yard. Is that suspecius or eccentric? However, If a customer has no qualms in telling bank staff they keep cash in the box, be careful.

Not that they will do it, but its an open door for a law suite stating someone in the bank took money out of it. Be sure there are no exceptions your safe deposit procedures for anyone.

As he has made it known, I would tell him because of that it woud be best if he took a box somewhere else.

Andy's suggestion of the sign is a great idea. Make sure your customer knows that.
Posted By: Ann

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/26/02 07:11 PM

Check out this training course on BOL. It looks like some good and timely information.

My opinions are my own and not those of my employer.
Posted By: Bear Collector, CRCM

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/26/02 09:26 PM

While there are no laws that I am aware of regarding where a customer keeps his/her cash, I think the filing of a SAR might not be so far-fetched. According to an article I read, your institution does have an obligation to watch for any suspicious behavior. Staff should be trained to look for suspicious patterns of activity in or around safe-custody areas. They should have a process to follow if they observe any such suspicious activity. If this customer is announcing that he is placing large sums of cash in his safe deposit box, my first question would be "Why?". If the answer doesn't make sense, it could be anything from stupidity to tax evasion to terrorism. If in doubt, I'd file.
Leslie
Posted By: BANNED BY BOL MANAGEMENT

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/26/02 09:44 PM

I'll vote no on the SAR, as a CTR is being filed and just because a customer states that cash is going into a safe deposit box does not mean that it is. In addition, the fact that there is no law against placing currency is a safe deposit box should prompt no action, report wise.

There is no logic to reporting the safe deposit activity, since the customer is electing to secure currency in a safe deposit box, versus walking out the door with a bundle of cash – that’s just a smart thing to do. Since you, I assuming, would not prepare an SAR based on the customer walking out the door with the cash, it follows that placing the cash in a safe deposit box would not warrant reporting.
Posted By: Bear Collector, CRCM

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/26/02 10:02 PM

Grist,
Before I posted my reply, I checked with our BSA Offocer and asked her if a SAR should be filed in the circumstances stated by the original poster. She felt that it could be suspicious, and as such, should be reported. Truthfully, a customer walking out the door with large sums of cash on a regular basis could also be suspicious and reportable.
Before Y2K, we had a lot of customers who were uneasy about the banking system placing their cash in their safe deposit boxes, or converting it into multiple cashier's checks. That was not really suspicious, given the circumstances at the time. I think you just need to judge each scenario on its own merit and decide whether it is prudent to file.
Leslie
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/26/02 10:12 PM

I tend to agree that anyone withdrawing a large amount of cash from an interest bearing account protected by FDIC insurance and placing it into a safe deposit box is highly unusual, bordering on suspicious. The regulators are really looking for banks to report anything they deem as suspicious. Who is to say what is suspicious. The fact that the branch called the Security Dept. lets you know that the branch thought there was something unusual about the situation. I think if you asked a regulator their opinion, they'd say "File". Any regulators out there want to anonymously voice your opinion ???
Posted By: Richard Insley

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/26/02 10:16 PM

Leslie- Unless you have something else to go along with "customer has a bag full of cash", a SAR will be a waste of law enforcement's time. Cash is legal tender and anyone can have as much as s/he can legally acquire. SARs are "value-added" reports. Cash alone is not suspicious--and even if a particular cash event IS suspicious, what SUA do you suspect?

These kinds of SARs are the cholesterol of the BSA reporting system.
Posted By: Michelle M

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/26/02 10:47 PM

I would have to agree with Rich. Although I would concider it a stupid (yes, I said STUPID)move to make, a lot of people are worried about banks going under after 9-11 and the Enron thing, so maybe this guy is thinking, "It's REALLY safe cause it's in the vault AND it's cash." So if the bank goes under he's totally covered.

You may think it's suspicious because you'd never do that, but after 9-11 we had a few people come in says "My friend told me I should take all my money out of the bank..."
Posted By: Andy_Z

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/26/02 11:10 PM

What is the basic suspicion, he has a lot of cash?

When we had a customer want over $100K in cash we had an off duty cop there to escort him off our property. The cop thought we were weird because this is common in that part of the state. Well, while it would be common for me. it wasn't suspicious, just irregular.
Posted By: BANNED BY BOL MANAGEMENT

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/26/02 11:47 PM

I'm not convinced. You are basically saying that every customer that prompts the filing of a CTR will also have a SAR filed on them as they walk out the door. Your suspicion: They not only withdraw the cash, but the walked out with the cash!

All the regulators need to know is that the customer withdrew cash and it's none of our business (at the bank level) what they do with it, it's a matter for the government to sort out.

If you take your scenario one step further, if the same customer deposits the same cash back to their account you would naturally file a CTR and, in your world, a SAR.
Posted By: Bear Collector, CRCM

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 12:04 AM

I do not think (nor did I state) that EVERY cash transaction is suspicious. What I said was that I beleive you have to look at each situation and judge it on its own merits. According to The U.S. Suspicious Activity Reporting regulations, FinCEN requires that "every bank" file with Treasury "a report of any suspicious transaction relevant to a possible violation of law or regulation." The SAR regulations define a "suspicious transaction" as any transaction involving $5,000 or more that is "conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank... and the bank knows, suspects, or has reason to suspect that":

* "The transaction involves funds derived from illegal activities or is intended or conducted in order to hide or disguise funds or assets derived from illegal activities… as part of a plan to violate or evade any federal law or regulation or to avoid any transaction reporting requirement under federal law or regulation"

* "The transaction is designed to evade any requirements of this part or of any other regulations promulgated under the Bank Secrecy Act..."

* "The transaction has no business or apparent lawful purpose or is not the sort in which the particular customer would normally be expected to engage, and the bank knows of no reasonable explanation for the transaction after examining the available facts, including the background and possible purpose of the transaction."

I still believe that in the safe deposit scenario, the bank must determine if this is normal, everyday activity, or if this is something designed for an unlawful purpose such as to evade taxes. As I stated in my first response to this post, I would want to know WHY the client chose to place huge amounts of money in his SD box before jumping to any conclusions. Maybe he is hiding money from a greedy ex-wife, or maybe he just doesn't like banks. I just do not think the bank can turn a blind eye when something is this unususal. (and obviously the original poster thought it was unususal, or he/she would not have asked the question!)
Leslie
Posted By: JacF

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 04:36 AM

In reply to:

and the bank knows of no reasonable explanation for the transaction after examining the available facts, including the background and possible purpose of the transaction



It has been my experience that sometimes the direct approach is the best way to get the answer to this one. Perhaps the customer is doing something that he thinks makes good financial sense, and is willing to share his reasoning. I would not file a SAR on this one without first asking the customer for an explanation- which can benefit the bank both from a BSA standpoint and a customer service standpoint. Cash in safe deposit boxes is probably more common than we would like to believe. I've even drilled boxes for non-payment of rent and found enough cash to cover the rent.
Posted By: Richard Insley

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 12:06 PM

In reply to:

I beleive you have to look at each situation and judge it on its own merits




Exactly right, Leslie!

Detection of a strange cash transaction would simply arouse my curiosity. The regs give me "30 calendar days after the date of initial detection by the bank of facts that may constitute a basis for filing a SAR." During this 30 days I will monitor further transactions, review other information, and possibly talk to the customer. At any point during my investigation I could develop the additional facts that would tip the balance in favor of a SAR. If, at the end of my investigation, there's nothing more than cash going into a safe deposit box, I would not file a SAR.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 02:07 PM

I have also been involved in many safe deposit drillings and in the past I have asked council if we should be filing a CTR/SAR for these type of transactions. The attorney did say that (within reason) customers can put what ever they like into their safe deposit box. I once had a customer from Thailand who couldn't wait to show me the contents of her sd box, there were several artifacts dating back hundreds of years in her family, one of which was a pipe used to smoke cocaine (or some drug). I didn't file anything on her because it was obvious in this situation that it was just an heirloom. I agree with all the previous posts that you really have to look at the situation to determine if it's appropriate to file or not.
Posted By: E.E.G.B

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 02:11 PM

Opium, probably, don't you think, rather than cocaine? JUST going on my reading and film thoughts, not on any personal experience, of course!!!!!!!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 02:18 PM

Opium...yes, that was it. Sorry, I couldn't remember. The coffee hasn't kicked in yet...it was the coolest pipe i'd ever seen...it was ivory and carved into a monkey. She used to cook for the branch too...hhhmmm, maybe I should have been suspicious!!!! (sorry, a little friday humor)
Posted By: E.E.G.B

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 02:20 PM

Mmmmmm, Thai cooking. I really like Thai. We may have to get takeout for dinner tonight. There's a place here that does killer Pad Thai to go.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 02:25 PM

Imagine the discussion over dinner..."what made you decide on Thai food tonight, honey? Oh, we were talking about opium at work today..."
Posted By: E.E.G.B

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 02:45 PM

Given some of the topics that come up at work, I suspect DH would not find that all that unusual! (My BF also works here, so lots of odd topics come up.)
Posted By: JacF

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 02:50 PM

At least it's not Chinese takeout
Posted By: Kara S

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 02:59 PM

JacFSB--that was great! Just what I needed to get rolling this wonderful Friday morning.
Posted By: Michelle M

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 03:06 PM

OK that was hilarious.
Posted By: BANNED BY BOL MANAGEMENT

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 03:07 PM

"The transaction involves funds derived from illegal activities or is intended or conducted in order to hide or disguise funds, etc."

"The transaction is designed to evade any requirements, etc."

"The transaction has no business or apparent lawful purpose, etc.

Telling someone that you are going to put cash into a safe deposit box does not appear to be covered within your post, correct? The "act" of putting cash into a safe deposit box is legal, correct? In my opinion, you are added something to the regulation that just doesn't fit.

Grant you that your liberal interpretation is correct in your mind, but that does not make it correct.

I realize that you did not state that all cash transactions are suspicious, I was just testing your logic.

What if the filing of an SAR became known to the customer and the customer told the story to your local newspaper? Yes, we have an obligation to strictly follow regulations, but customer idiosyncrasy’s are not generally reportable.
Posted By: Kara S

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 03:11 PM

Wouldn't cash in a Safe Deposit Box be some what similar to keeping a large amount of cash under the mattress? I believe it is the customers choice as to where they keep there cash. Why they wouldn't want to be earning interest on such a large amount is not logical to me. Safe Deposits are fire proof right? For that reason alone I would rather have a customer keeping money in the SDB then under the mattress.

SAR or not, if it is an older customer, try to figure out the mentality of the person or maybe there is a family emergency. All reasons are not bad. Take the 30 days to file a SAR to heart and use them!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 03:41 PM

Let's step back a second and think about this. If the cash was from illegal activity or the customer was attempting to hide the funds, the customer never would have deposited the cash in the bank in the first place.

I once had a bookie open a box at a branch. He would come in once per month to use his box. Turned out he was holding cash in the box. Guess he thought it was safer than under the mattress.

The point is, we never knew, nor even suspected the cash was in there.

Given these circumstances, I don't think you have a SAR filing here.
Posted By: Richard Insley

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 03:41 PM

Mental and emotional problems sometimes DO lead to strange financial behavior. We once had a guy who withdrew a hefty sum of cash in $1 bills. A few days later, he brought it back and redeposited it. We later learned that he had dumped it out on the floor and rolled around in it for kicks.
Posted By: Lestie G

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 03:47 PM

Did the teller know that before she counted all those bills back into her drawer?
Posted By: Richard Insley

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 03:52 PM

I don't recall--but the event shed new light on the possible benefits of money laundering!
Posted By: David Dickinson

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 03:54 PM

JacFSB - I think I'm going to be sick! (I don't know that I'll ever eat Chinese again).
Posted By: Lestie G

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 03:55 PM

Using some heavy duty detergent!

We've all heard really icky stories from tellers (or maybe had the experience ourselves) of where customers get the cash they're depositing. I wonder sometimes if the location the cash comes from warrants a SAR!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 04:14 PM

I once had a customer who brought $$ in that smelled like a litter box...and another customer that was a male stripper that used to bring in his $1.00 bills (don't want to know where those were stuffed!!!!)
Posted By: marcy

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 04:20 PM

Okay, let's put a little twist to the situation. An older lady cashes in cds as they mature and puts the cash into a safe deposit box that she shares with her kids. Suggestions to use a cashiers check instead of cash reveals that she wants her kids to have access to the cash without going through probate. So now we have knowledge that the transaction is designed to evade taxes in the future. However no crime has occurred. . .yet. Is a SAR warranted? While it is unusual pattern for this person, until they actually evade probate, it's not illegal. What's your opinion?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 04:27 PM

I think that the transaction would only warrant a CTR b/c cash was withdrawn greater than 10K. The buck stops there!!!!!
Posted By: LiL Bit Moore

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 04:44 PM

In reply to:

So now we have knowledge that the transaction is designed to evade taxes in the future




Do you really? Maybe she wanted to provide immediate access to her children vs. waiting for probate for what she thinks are valid reasons. Estate taxes are complicated and an assumption the intent is future tax evasion on funds that you don't even know for a fact will be subject to taxation does not warrant an SAR. A CTR s/b filed if applicable.
Posted By: BANNED BY BOL MANAGEMENT

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 05:25 PM

The bottomline is this: Customers can be very strange, but that is not reportable unless the resulting event is specifically covered within regulations. We are not part of the government; we are not in the business of reporting strange behavior unless that behavior involves a transaction that is truly suspicious, not simply strange.

Customers have a right to be strange and banks should not be in the business of reporting that fact.
Posted By: Bear Collector, CRCM

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 05:38 PM

Grist -
I think I said (more than once) that the mere act of placing cash in a SD box box does not make the transaction reportable. What I said was, maybe you need to ask "why". I once had a customer who came into the bank and withdrew a huge sum of cash. He then sat at my desk folding each bill into teeny, tiny little squares. He then placed the money in his SD box. I asked him why he was doing that, and he told me he was planning to smuggle the funds out of the country! (He wasn't kidding!) While the mere act of placing the money in his box didn't make it suspicious, what he TOLD me did! All I was trying to say (apparently unsuccessfully) is that you have knowledge or reason to suspect that an activity is illegal, you should report it.
Leslie
Posted By: Michelle M

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 05:44 PM

In reply to:

Suggestions to use a cashiers check instead of cash reveals that she wants her kids to have access to the cash without going through probate. So now we have knowledge that the transaction is designed to evade taxes in the future.



You can designate a POD on an account to avoid probate, that doesn't mean they are avoiding taxes.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 07:10 PM

Andy, years ago when I worked in a branch I also heard that "myth" about cash in a safe deposit box. I wonder where the idea that it was a law came from?
Posted By: BANNED BY BOL MANAGEMENT

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 07:44 PM

Part of what you said was:
Before I posted my reply, I checked with our BSA Offocer and asked her if a SAR should be filed in the circumstances stated by the original poster. She felt that it could be suspicious, and as such, should be reported. Truthfully, a customer walking out the door with large sums of cash on a regular basis could also be suspicious and reportable.

You did not include "Why" at that point as an element. Even if you pursue "Why," and the customer tells you that it is none of your business, it appears that you would start writing it up an SAR because the customer did not 'appropriately' respond to your question.

I’d say that the BOL consensus on this subject/thread is clear, no SAR report, except at your bank in MD.

Posted By: Richard Insley

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 08:36 PM

Grist- I'm nominating you for a Vegan2 award. Leslie has been a valued member of this forum since its inception and we've always allowed posters--especially those who do business in their own names and do not hide behind a screen name or post anonymously--to express themselves fully, without the kind of harassment that's developed in this thread. I, for one, always look forward to the analysis and insight Leslie's posts bring to our discussions.
Posted By: Buddy the Elf

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 08:37 PM

Posted By: Michelle M

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 08:39 PM

In reply to:

I’d say that the BOL consensus on this subject/thread is clear, no SAR report, except at your bank in MD.


Posted By: BANNED BY BOL MANAGEMENT

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 08:53 PM

I accept the award, but what do I get?

Are you some sort of knight in shining armor? From Leslie's posts it appears that she can take care of herself.
Posted By: BANNED BY BOL MANAGEMENT

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 08:55 PM

I you, and Leslie Croaker, thanks for sharing such warm thoughts during the holidays.
Posted By: Richard Insley

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 09:04 PM

In reply to:

...what do I get?



Vegan2 got a one-way trip to the edge of town.
Posted By: D2Xs

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 09:10 PM

Grist,

I think the consensus of the last several posts is that you are being rude and it is not appreciated. Let's be professional and not pursue this any further.
Posted By: Kara S

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 09:27 PM

I'm sorry, I have to say, I have not been offended by anything in this post. I understand why people may be upset though.I don't understand why we can't just get along! But of course we don't live in a perfect world (where the new Powerball winner lives). I always remember the good posts Grist has made. The posts I have seen of Vegan, none of them were productive. Grist is definetly not a Vegan.
Posted By: BANNED BY BOL MANAGEMENT

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 10:03 PM

being rude

For my continuing enlightenment, please point out the "rude" part.
Posted By: BANNED BY BOL MANAGEMENT

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 10:09 PM

edge of town

Does that award have anything to do with the Rambo movie?
Posted By: D2Xs

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 10:12 PM

Rude
In reply to:

I’d say that the BOL consensus on this subject/thread is clear, no SAR report, except at your bank in MD.


This one was even pointed out by MichelleM.

Defensive
In reply to:

Are you some sort of knight in shining armor? From Leslie's posts it appears that she can take care of herself.


This is how I observed it.

If I'm not mistaken I think others may have taken it the same way.
Posted By: BANNED BY BOL MANAGEMENT

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 10:19 PM

Thanks Kara. People should not be upset. Posters should give a little more consideration to what they post as a position on any issue and be able to handle a challenge.

It’s possible that other posters or people just looking at threads will take a stated position and turn it into fact, something like “you cannot put cash in a safe deposit box” which, as Andy verified, is a myth, simply not true but is thought of as true by more than a few bankers.

Perhaps my attempts at pushing the envelope, logic wise, made for unhappy campers, but we should be able to sort out the facts, an application of the facts to the real world and come up with the truth of the matter. It’s a debate, not personal.
Posted By: BANNED BY BOL MANAGEMENT

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 10:22 PM

O.K., but what is not true about either statement? Are you saying rude, but true? Or true but rude of you to say it?

Also, are you saying that I'm rude and defensive, e.g. offensive and defensive? Are you also a knight?
Posted By: Michelle M

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 10:25 PM

In reply to:

It’s a debate, not personal.




Debate
I'd say that the BOL consensus on this subject/thread is clear, no SAR report.

Personal
I'd say that the BOL consensus on this subject/thread is clear, no SAR report, except at your bank in MD.
Posted By: D2Xs

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 10:26 PM

Grist- Now that make perfect sense. When you put it that way I don't think anyone would have a problem. But the way you stated it before it looks like a personal attack. The disadvantage of computer communication is that we can't see your expressions or hear your tone of voice.

Your last post was well said.
Posted By: BANNED BY BOL MANAGEMENT

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 10:28 PM

except at your bank in MD

It's a fact and facts are simply real, not personal, as reality has no feeling.

Is this not fun, or what?
Posted By: Michelle M

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/27/02 10:34 PM

Grist - You input on BOL has at many times been invaluable and I realized most if not all your posts have been factual (frivolity aside), but somes of you post come across as throwing a fact in someone face. I think that's what gets you strong responses, not that your post wasn't factual.
Posted By: BANNED BY BOL MANAGEMENT

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/28/02 12:09 AM

I like strong responses. They make life just a little more interesting. First I try facts, next logic, and finally I push the envelope to make a point. Once again, reality has no feeling, so let's not fool yourselves into thinking that a post by someone that you (or other posters) do not know deserves any reaction at a feeling level. My posts are strictly business or the interpretation of a business issue, not personal.
Posted By: Bear Collector, CRCM

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/28/02 03:16 AM

First of all, thanks to all who have defended not only me, but also the integrity of this forum. When people are allowed to make personal attacks on others, and those attacks go unchallenged, the abuse continues. This is not the first time I have been the recipient of Grist’s pointed and cutting remarks, and I am not alone. Hopefully the powers that be on BOL will rectify this matter - but regardless, I will not allow myself to waste any more precious time or energy being drawn into these ridiculous wars of words, and neither should any of you.

I enjoy a challenge as much as the next guy. I have never set myself up as a guru or as being any more knowledgeable than anyone else on this site. I try to give thoughtful, technically correct answers to questions, and have made mistakes. I try to help others as much as they have helped me. I endeavor to ask well thought out and researched questions – but I also understand that there are those who have not been in the industry that long, and may not know or understand how to find an answer. I think posters like Andy, Richard, Lucy, Mary Beth, Bonnie, Michelle, DPersful (and many others) are excellent role models in that I have never seen any of them EVER disparage anyone else even though they may disagree. That is what makes BOL a great resource.

As far as Grist is concerned, he is welcome to disagree, but often his remarks serve no purpose except to insult and degrade. He calls it “pushing the envelope” - done under a cloak of anonymity, I think it is a cowardly way to attack others and take some kind of perverse pleasure in their humiliation. Reality may not have feelings, but people do. The mere fact that two pages of this post have now been dedicated solely to others defending me and to him defending himself should be a clear indication that this is a waste of everyone’s time, and that remarks such as his are not appreciated. I truly believe that he is an intelligent person with a great deal to offer, but this personal stuff has got to stop. In the future (or as long as he is permitted access to this forum) I just plan to ignore him. Life is too short and this forum means too much to me to let someone like him ruin it.
Posted By: BANNED BY BOL MANAGEMENT

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/28/02 06:47 PM

Disagreement relative to your position on issues does not rise to the cited level, unless you are being overly sensitive. Perhaps you don’t like to be challenged, but posting an opinion, for example to this question, that is supported by not one additional poster, sets you up for a challenge and I’m here to challenge your position as I have done in the past. Therefore, you should be thanking me for taking the time to show you the light. It’s not personal, it’s strictly business as we all want the best information disseminated on this site.

Would you not say, given all the responses to the original question, that your position is controversial? I’d say it is and therefore a spirited challenge is the natural result.

Hopefully the powers that be on BOL will rectify this matter

Yes, they are on the case, but whatever the result it will not detract from the position posted versus all the other positions posted that are in opposition to your position. I just happened to take up the challenge, but as the saying goes “no good deed goes unpunished.”
Posted By: Don_Narup

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/28/02 07:09 PM

Position on the issue aside Grist. You appear to be intelligent, articulate, and have become a Platinum Poster in just 3 months. However, your last few posts are using phrases that sound all too familiar to the rationalizations of V2.

Please lets not go through that again. Disagree with a post but "Challenge" should be reserved to private messages. But as V2 would say I'm just a vendor. Right


Posted By: BANNED BY BOL MANAGEMENT

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/29/02 09:34 PM

Thanks for the post Don, but why did you not send it as private message? It's disagreement with the disagreement, correct?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box *DELETED* - 12/30/02 02:39 PM

Post deleted by mbguard
Posted By: CHT

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/30/02 04:28 PM



was the consensus that finding out a customer is keeping cash in a safe deposit box warranted a SAR report or not? And, if the answer is "yes in Maryland", I can live with that -- I am in Maryland!!

Posted By: Sponge Steve

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/30/02 04:46 PM

I'm not the consensus but I would NOT file a SAR if a customer tells me the cash is going into the safe deposit box. Imagine if that customer said, "I'm finally going to buy that Luxmobile I've always wanted and want to pay with cash." There would be no string on whether or not a SAR is required for this. The true crook is sly enough to not say something that raises suspicion. The non-crook is likely to say something that raises suspicion.

Now imagine a SAR is filed in this case. It is one of those millions of SARs law enforcement decides to follow up on. They go to that customer and ask why the cash was put in the safe deposit box. Who is that customer going to be mad at? The bank will draw the ire for considering a truthful statement suspicious.

If law enforcement has this person in their sights the CTR will give them the ammo they need. Otherwise, I think a SAR is over-kill.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/30/02 06:46 PM

All winners of the Vegan2 Award get the boot. The votes have been counted, the tribe has spoken, and Grist is the latest winner of the Vegan2 award. He is now gone.

I agree that some of Grist's posts were informative and helpful. For that reason, rather than booting him immediately, BOL Management warned him via private message that the tone of some of his posts were offensive to others and he needed to play nice if he wanted to stay. His reply to that private message was also offensive, yet his posts, for a few days, appeared to reflect a "kinder, gentler" Grist, so we refrained from taking action once again. The "edge" to his posts quickly came back, however, and he is no longer welcome on Bankers' Threads.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/30/02 07:30 PM

From Money Laundering.com: “Alert Global Media has collected the following list of activities that, in the right circumstances, could be considered suspicious. Each potential suspicious activity must be compared against the relevant facts surrounding the activity. “
Suspicious Safe Deposit Box Activity
Customer's activity increases in the safe deposit box area, possibly indicating the safekeeping of large amounts of cash.
Customer often visits the safe deposit box area immediately before making cash deposits of sums less than $10,000.
Customer rents multiple safe deposit boxes.
Source: http://www.moneylaundering.com/SARListNew.htm

I also found the following article from Bankers Digest. If seems to support both sides of the argument here – that Safe Deposit transactions are not generally reportable but may be reportable under certain circumstances.
http://www.bankersdigest.com/features_2001_4q/102201_feature.htm
Hope this helps somewhat. May peace reign in the valley!
Posted By: Ross

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/30/02 07:37 PM

What are:
In reply to:

Safe Deposit transactions



????
Posted By: CHT

a newbie question: - 12/30/02 08:44 PM

the Vegan2 Award?
Posted By: E.E.G.B

Re: a newbie question: - 12/30/02 08:50 PM

Don't ask. Trust me, you DON'T want one. If you get one you are not allowed to play with us any more.
Posted By: Andy_Z

Re: a newbie question: - 12/30/02 08:58 PM

Don Rickles made a good living insulting people and being rude. Very few others have done so well. And nobody has done well here being this way.

On BOL it is deemed to be in bad taste and undesirable.

Getting the V2 award means you're about to get kicked out of the sandbox because you don't play nice with the others.
Posted By: DawgFan

Re: a newbie question: - 12/30/02 08:59 PM

Well, I think people NEED to know what it is. That way, maybe they'll think twice before they type something. Vegan2 was a poster to this site who, quite frankly, lacked the professionalism that I think we all want to see on this board. His comments were a lot like Grist's, except for the fact that Grist actually contributed something useful from time to time. As a reward for his lack of professionalism, Vegan2 was given his walking papers and is no longer here. Richard was veiling his request for Grist's removal with some well placed wit in nominating Grist for the Vegan2 award. I think that "Vegan2 award" is a good name for it. I, for one, sincerely hope to see it never given out again, but I guess that depends upon the choices each of us make with our words.
Posted By: Richard Insley

Re: a newbie question: - 12/30/02 09:00 PM

V2 was very unpleasant to everyone here. His/her exceptionally rude and obnoxious behavior caused BOL management to ban him/her from forum participation for life.

I wholeheartedly agree with you, tdrago, we don't ever want to lose someone who is contributing; but at the same time, rudeness and attacks on other participants are totally out of character for this group.
Posted By: Sponge Steve

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/30/02 09:07 PM

I agree that safe deposit activity can lead to the filing of a SAR. If every time the customer comes to the bank and visits the box before making deposits with cash that smells rather strange....no doubt, that is suspicious.

But a customer simply saying he's going to put the cash into his box isn't suspicious in my mind.

I recall the market crash of 1987. A local lawyer emptied his deposit account and took the cash to his safe deposit box. He felt the market crash was going to take banks down too. We filed a CTR. Several months later, the market settled out, the banks didn't fail and the cash came back out of the box and into his account. Another CTR was filed. Was any of this "suspicious?" Not at all. Weird and silly is what all of us in the bank thought but nothing suspicious warranting a report to Uncle Sam.

"Suspicious" is an art, not a science. Some might think the strange habits of my neighbor are suspicious. But I know him and know he's just weird that way.

For the future of banking, I hope we don't cross the line and start considering unusual/strange/silly behavior "suspicious." Once we do that our customers will leave us.
Posted By: Richard Insley

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/30/02 09:31 PM

Nicely put, Steve.
In reply to:

"Suspicious" is an art, not a science.



A good deal of this thread kicks that issue up and down the field, but the truth of the matter is that there's no formula and it comes down to a judgement call. After jumping the gun on more than one occasion, I finally learned that patience is a virtue when making the SAR call. If a customer is going to turn out to be suspicious, the 30 day filing period allows plenty of time for him/her to do something else to add to my first warning sign. Often, it had already happened and a review of the customer's records added the additional "push" we needed to do the SAR.
Posted By: William

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/30/02 09:38 PM

Jumping to file a SAR too soon (i.e. without some type of internal investigation) can lead to the issue of this question .
Posted By: LoisLane

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/31/02 02:33 PM

Maybe Grist is really V2. Did his posts begin about the time V2 departed?
Posted By: JacF

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/31/02 02:38 PM

I don't think they are the same person. Not only was there a several month gap between the two, but V2 showed up asking for every policy and procedure imaginable, and Grist was offering to share tools. Plus, Grist never complained about vendors posting.
Posted By: skinnyminny

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/31/02 03:14 PM

Wow! This is some post.

Getting back to the original question of cash in a SDB-the filing of a SAR is a judgment call depending on the particular circumstances. The act of putting cash in the SDB in itself is not a reason to file a SAR. The "reason" that the customer is placing the cash there should be addressed in the most polite manner possible. That is what will drive your decision to file a SAR or not.

There have been many cases cited in money laundering articles, where the safe deposit box was used for illegal purposes. These should be used as examples only. The decision to file a SAR in your case should made only after you have monitored the customer's account activity (and SDB activity)for a period of time (30 days perhaps). Don't condemn the customer for a single transaction without following up on his/her activities.

As far as the legality of placing cash in a safe deposit box, I've always heard that it was a no-no. However, as other BOLers have cited, there is little to support the legality of this.

As an aside, when my prior bank once closed a branch and opened up safe deposit boxes that were not claimed, cash found in the boxes became a problem. The outside firm that was hired to inventory the contents of the boxes was not listing the cash on the inventory. Fortunately, a good friend of mine was verifying the contents along with the outside firm. He asked why the cash wasn't being listed. They said "you know-they're not supposed to keep it there-they won't miss it." Sounds like they were in the habit of splitting the cash found in the boxes with dishonest bank employees. They were told in no uncertain words to list the cash on the inventory. End of story.

Posted By: Skittles

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/31/02 03:16 PM

Sounds like that outside firm had some issues with ethics.
Posted By: JacF

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/31/02 03:57 PM

In reply to:

They were told in no uncertain words to list the cash on the inventory.



Were they also told in no uncertain words that they would never again be doing any work for your bank?
Posted By: Sponge Steve

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/31/02 06:17 PM

While I am generally slow to pull the trigger on SARs, had I ever heard of a law firm telling a bank employee to just ignore the cash found in the safe deposit box in a probate inventory process, I would file the SAR and report that firm to the State Bar Association. I know it's history now for you and there's nothing that can be done. Other than hope those folks involved rot in the hot place for ripping off dead folks.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/31/02 08:59 PM

Hey Steve, just had to comment on your picture...love it! How's Patrick?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/31/02 09:42 PM

$100,000 in a safe deposit box is much better than 100,000 frogs. Trust me on that.
Posted By: DawgFan

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 12/31/02 09:51 PM

In reply to:

$100,000 in a safe deposit box is much better than 100,000 frogs. Trust me on that.




Your bank offers a safe deposit box that big?
Posted By: Elwood P. Dowd

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 01/01/03 01:50 PM

Adding to a thread that includes everything from an excommunication to a discussion on Thai food, controlled substances and amphibians is a pure expression of faith. Yet, if someone is researching this subject later, this is where they would expect to find this comment.

My knowledge of the law of safe deposit boxes is limited to five states in the Midwest. None have statutory restrictions on what can be placed in a safe deposit box. Depending on the odds you are willing to offer, I would bet that no other states have a statute or regulation with such a prohibition. Such a restriction would be a tad ridiculous because it would largely be unenforceable and would not serve any public purpose.

Nevertheless, the idea that you cannot keep cash in a safe deposit box is more than mythology - such a restriction is a common term in safe deposit leases. As such, it is the law of the contract; it binds the parties as much as any statute would.

If a safe deposit box is burglarized, it would be easy for the renter to insist, "There was $85,000 in cash in that box!" If the bank had been negligent and was found liable for the burglary, all the renter would have to do is make the finder of fact believe there really was cash in the box. However, if the contract said that no cash was to be kept in the box, the bank could have the claim dismissed because the renter had agreed not to do the very thing for which it was attempting to hold the bank liable.

The purpose of the language is to prevent fraudulent claims; i.e. to protect the safe deposit custodian. It is not a general attempt to actually control what people put in their safe deposit boxes.
Posted By: Ann

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 01/01/03 03:16 PM

Ken, you make an excellent point in your opening remarks. For those of us who like to do research on these threads, it is very disconcerting to wade through off-topic comments to get to the meat of the matter. I venture to say that many who start with this thread because of the question asked will never get to the fine commentary that you posted.

Today I plan to spend a couple of hours doing research on web-site advertising, including Google sponsored links and landing pages. There are too many interruptions at work to seriously pursue this course of study. I have tried for days.

To those who post questions, you are needed here. And to those who give the answers, your insight and knowledge is valued more than you know. It is my hope that we will stay on task with these threads and appreciate the fact that compliance is not always black and white; there are sometimes shades of gray that need to be explored. Differing opinions are what make this a valuable forum for research.


Opinions are my own and not those of my employer.
Posted By: Barbara Hurst

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 01/03/03 01:30 AM

I kind of hesitate to jump in here - but I will anyway! I checked this problem out with FinCEN a long time ago, and their answer was - if cash is placed into a box, or removed from a box, there is NO transaction, therefore no CTR. The only time they would want a SAR is if it appeared obvious that there was structuring or an illegal practice going on (i.e. drug dealing) in which case a local contact should be made with the SAR. Otherwise, they really are not interested. Hope this helps!
Posted By: John Burnett

Re: Cash In Safe Deposit Box - 01/03/03 01:25 PM

Thank you, Barbara, for wrapping this mélange of messages into a neat package. It's nice to see your smiling face on BOL!