FinCEN released its final rule regarding the confidentiality of suspicious activity reports and has determined that financial institutions must keep quiet about investigations of suspicious account activity, even when transactional reports are not required to be filed, the U.S. Treasury Department said Tuesday.
The final rule, which takes effect in December, requires compliance departments to limit the disclosure of investigations that might lead to suspicious activity reports to those persons who need to know. Reviews of the suspicious activity reports should be held in a designated restricted area and each time an employee accesses a report should be logged.
Moreover, any document that indicates that a suspicious activity report has been filed with FinCEN must be shielded by a cover sheet to ensure confidentiality of the filing. These measures must be in place even when a compliance department ultimately decides not to file a suspicious activity report.
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