The financial regulatory agencies, including the National Credit Union Administration, are issuing the attached advisory because there have been some concerns raised about the breadth of the “safe harbor” protection afforded to financial institutions and their employees for referring suspicious or potentially criminal activity to the appropriate authorities.
NCUA’s Rules and Regulations Section 748.1(c), 12 C.F.R. §748.1(c), requires federally insured credit unions to file suspicious activity reports in accordance with the instructions and reporting requirements accompanying the Suspicious Activity Report Form. The “safe harbor” provision, which is codified at 31 U.S.C. §5318(g)(3), provides complete immunity from civil liability for the reporting of known or suspected criminal offenses or suspicious activity by the use of a Criminal Referral Form, and now its replacement, an SAR, or by reporting through other means. NCUA is confident that credit unions, and their employees, that follow NCUA’s regulations and SAR filing instructions are fully protected by the “safe harbor”.
If you have any questions, please contact your regional office.
Norman E. D’Amours