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314(a) Record Retention

Question: 
According to the FDIC's BSA examination procedures dated 10/17/03, the financial institution needs to maintain appropriate records of search results under the USA PATRIOT Act Section 314(a). I'd like to know what kind of recordkeeping would satisfy the regulatory requirement. Do we need to keep FinCEN's requests on file? Why or why not?
Answer: 

The 314(a) queries themselves are not subject to BSA's five-year record retention requirements. However, you need to maintain enough information to show evidence of compliance between examinations. The OCC's examination procedures are more detailed than the FDIC's and illustrate various methods for proving that you did your job:

5. Review the financial institution’s internal control process to determine that there is adequate documentation to evidence compliance. Such documentation could include, for example, copies of the 314(a) requests; a log that records the tracking numbers with a sign-off column; or copies of the request cover page with a sign-off, indicating that the records were checked, along with the date of the search and search results (e.g., positive/negative). For positive matches, copies of the form returned to FinCEN along with supporting documentation should be retained. Failure to maintain records could be indicative of weak internal controls.

First published on BankersOnline.com 3/7/05

First published on 03/07/2005

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