Bank Secrecy Act Resources

In 1970, Congress passed the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act commonly known as the “Bank Secrecy Act” (BSA), establishing recordkeeping and reporting requirements by private individuals, banks and other financial institutions. The BSA is intended to safeguard the U.S. financial system and the financial institutions that make up that system from the abuses of financial crime, including money laundering, terrorist financing and other illicit financial transactions.

All credit unions must comply with the BSA regulations.

To assist credit unions with their efforts in establishing and maintaining procedures designed to assure and monitor compliance with the BSA, additional information and details are provided in the links to the right.

Please note the term “bank” is used interchangeably with “credit union” for ease in drafting joint statements from the FFIEC Agencies. Treasury and FinCEN regulations use the term “bank” to define a variety of financial institutions, including credit unions.

BSA Exam Resources

12 USC 1786(q)(2) requires that the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) include a review of the BSA compliance program at each examination of a federally insured credit union.  NCUA plays a critical role in implementing BSA regulations by developing examination guidance, ensuring compliance with the BSA and enforcing the BSA in federally insured credit unions.

BSA Links

Order Granting an Exemption from Customer Identification Program requirements implementing section 326 of the USA PATRIOT Act, 31 U.S.C. § 5318(l), for loans extended by banks (and their subsidiaries) subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Banking Agencies to commercial customers to facilitate purchases of property and casualty insurance policies.

Bank Secrecy Act - Increased Use of Exemption Provisions Could Reduce Currency Transaction Reporting (CTR) While Maintaining Usefulness to Law Enforcement Efforts - The Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to congressional committees on the usefulness of CTRs to law enforcement, the costs of meeting CTR requirements to depository institutions, and ways to encourage use of exemptions to avoid unnecessary CTRs.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) - FinCEN, a bureau of the U.S. Treasury, is the delegated administrator of the BSA.  In this capacity, FinCEN issues regulations and interpretive guidance, provides outreach to regulated industries, supports the examination functions performed by federal banking agencies and pursues civil enforcement actions when warranted.  

There are several ways to contact the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The following contact information is provided to help direct your inquiries to the appropriate offices and/or personnel.

U.S. Department of Treasury and Federal Banking Agencies Joint Fact Sheet on Foreign Correspondent Banking

General Information

  • For the general public with questions about the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), its policies and programs, call:  703.905.3591 (Monday thru Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Eastern).
  • For financial institutions with questions relating to Bank Secrecy Act and USA PATRIOT Act requirements and forms, call: 800.949.2732 (Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Eastern).
  • For financial institutions wanting to report suspicious transactions that may relate to terrorist activity. The purpose of the hotline is to facilitate the immediate transmittal of this information to law enforcement, call: 866.556.3974 (7 days a week, 24 hours a day)
  • FinCEN Advisories, Rulings, Bulletins, Fact Sheets: Provide additional guidance and information regarding the BSA.

BSA Regulations

For federally insured credit unions, the BSA is addressed in Part 748 of the NCUA Rules and Regulations and Title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The links to these regulations are provided below.  

BSA Reporting

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network encourages the use of electronic filing of Bank Secrecy Act forms. Go to http://bsaefiling.fincen.treas.gov/main.html.

Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR)

Currency Transaction Reporting (CTR)

Other Forms