Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ex-bank employee fined $25,000 for SAR disclosure

On December 15, 2011, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) assessed a $25,000 civil money penalty against a bank employee for unlawfully revealing the existence of a Suspicious Activity Report (“SAR”) to the subject of the SAR (“CMP”). FinCEN determined that the bank employee violated the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its implementing regulations by willfully disclosing the existence of a SAR to a person involved in the reported transaction.

The CMP reinforces the strict obligation to maintain the confidentiality of SARs as well as any information that would reveal the existence of a SAR. Specifically, FinCEN stated that “all employees, agents, and individuals who are privy to the information contained in the SAR should be aware of-and held to- the obligation to maintain confidentiality with respect to such information. This obligation extends beyond the SAR itself, to any information that would reveal the SAR’s existence.” In addition, the CMP highlighted that the unauthorized disclosure of a SAR may also result in criminal penalties.

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