Answer by Ryan Rasske: To the best of my knowledge, a bank has not been fined for an incomplete SAR narrative. However, with “defensive filing” becoming such a hot issue with FinCEN we may begin to see regulators criticizing poorly written SARs in the future. Based on the facts in your question, it is ultimately the BSA Officers responsibility to submit a SAR form that is complete, sufficient, and timely filed. Failing to file a detailed narrative will impact FinCEN’s and law enforcements ability to understand the issue. According to FinCEN’s guidance, each narrative should include the following elements:
Answer by Jim Bedsole: I agree with Ryan. This is also addressed in the new BSA Examination Manual at page 48 and in Appendix L.
First published on BankersOnline.com 1/2/06