Office of the Comptroller of the Currency - Ensuring a Safe and Sound Federal Banking System for all Americans. Site Map | Text Size: S M L


More resources for national banks

BSA and Related Regulations

Procedures for Monitoring BSA Compliance -12 CFR 21.21 requires every national bank to have a written, board approved program that is reasonably designed to assure and monitor compliance with the BSA. The program must, at a minimum:

  1. provide for a system of internal controls to assure ongoing compliance;
  2. provide for independent testing for compliance;
  3. designate an individual responsible for coordinating and monitoring day-to-day compliance; and
  4. provide training for appropriate personnel. In addition, the implementing regulation for section 326 of the PATRIOT Act requires that every bank adopt a customer identification program identification program as part of its BSA compliance program.

Reports of Suspicious Activities - 12 CFR 21.11 requires every national bank to file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) when they detect certain known or suspected violations of federal law or suspicious transactions related to a money laundering activity or a violation of the BSA. A SAR filing is required for any potential crimes:

  1. involving insider abuse regardless of the dollar amount;
  2. where there is an identifiable suspect and the transaction involves $5,000 or more; and
  3. where there is no identifiable suspect and the transaction involves $25,000 or more. A SAR filing also is required in the case of suspicious activity that is indicative of potential money laundering or BSA violations and the transaction involves $5,000 or more.

Links to BSA Related Statutes

Institutions of Primary Laundering Concerns - Section 5318A of the Bank Secrecy Act, as added by section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act, authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to designate a foreign jurisdiction, institution, class of transaction, or type of account as being of "primary money-laundering concern," and to impose one or more of five "special measures."

BSA Reporting Requirements

BSA-related reporting requirements for national banks are administered by the US Department of Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

These forms include:

The following FinCEN publications provide additional guidance and information to bankers: