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.
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.
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.
COVID-19 BSA Links
- NCUA Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for Federally Insured Credit Unions and Members
- FinCEN Coronavirus Updates (opens new window)
- The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Provides Further Information to Financial Institutions in Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic (opens new window)
- The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Encourages Persons to Communicate OFAC Compliance Concerns Related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (opens new window)
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.
- Recent Final Rule Part 748 Filing Requirements for Suspicious Activity Reports 10/19/2006 (opens new window)
- National Credit Union Administration Regulations
- Bank Secrecy Act Statute (opens new window) ; 31 USC 5311- 5314 (opens new window); 31 USC 5316- 5332 (opens new window) ; 12 USC 1829b (opens new window); 12 USC 1951- 1959 (opens new window)
- Codified Bank Secrecy Act Regulations: 31 CFR 103 (opens new window)
- Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) BSA/AML Examination Manual (opens new window)
- NCUA Examiner's Guide
- Joint Statement to Encourage Innovative Approaches to BSA/AML Compliance
- BSA Enforcement Statement
- Joint Statement on Risk-Focused BSA/AML Supervision (opens new window)
- Sharing BSA Resources (opens new window)
- BSA Guidance for Customer Due Diligence and Beneficial Ownership Compliance
- Identifying and Mitigating Risks of Money Services Businesses (opens new window)
- FinCEN: Important Information for MSBs (opens new window)
- BSA Expectations Regarding Marijuana-Related Businesses (opens new window)
- Serving Hemp Businesses
- Additional Guidance on Serving Hemp-Related Businesses
- FinCEN Guidance on Human Trafficking (opens new window)
- Interagency Statement on Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs)
- Joint Fact Sheet on Bank Secrecy Act Due Diligence Requirements for Charities and Non-Profit Organizations
- Proposed Rule to Allow Exemptions from SAR Requirements
- FinCEN SAR FAQ
- OFAC Frequently Asked Questions (opens new window)
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) (opens new window) is a bureau within the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and 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.
- 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 (opens new window): Provide additional guidance and information regarding the BSA.
- FinCEN 314a Information (opens new window)
- FinCEN 314b Information (opens new window)
As of April 1, 2013, financial institutions must use the new FinCEN reports, which are available only electronically through the BSA E-Filing System (opens new window). FinCEN is no longer accepting legacy reports. For more information, click here (opens new window).
Suspicious Activity Report (SAR)
The BSA E-Filing system supports electronic filing of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) forms (either individually or in batches) by a filing organization to the BSA database through a FinCEN secure network. It also allows members of filing organizations to send and receive secure messages to and from FinCEN. Additionally, FinCEN uses the system to issue advisories and system updates to the user community.
To File a BSA report, visit BSA E-Filing System (opens new window).
To view a BSA report or test your batch filing program, visit BSA E-Filing Test System (opens new window). Do not mail or electronically attempt to file a test report.
Currency Transaction Reporting (CTR)
- FinCEN Currency Transaction Reporting (FinCEN CTR) Electronic Filing Requirements (opens new window)
- FinCEN: Guidance on Determining Eligibility for Exemption from Currency Transaction Reporting Requirements (opens new window)
Contact the NCUA
If you have a BSA related question for the NCUA, please send an email to the BSA Policy mailbox at BSAPolicy@NCUA.gov.