What is The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)?

Blog / What is The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)?

The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) is the United States of America's most crucial anti-money laundering regulation. The US Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) was implemented in 1970. Still, it continues to be one of the essential sources of regulation for American and global financial systems with wide-ranging effects across the sector. At the same time, BSA serves as a primary tool to obligate financial institutions to aid the government in efforts to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and other financial crimes. Since its implementation, it's been amended several times. Its roles in money laundering and financing terrorism is shared with the USA Patriot Act.

What is BSA? BSA is an authoritative body that aims to ensure that money banks and financial institutions are not used as tools to facilitate this. Under the BSA, institutions must detect and monitor potential money laundering activities and report them to authorities to enforce activities.

The Bank Secrecy Act is administered by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which imposes various obligations to financial institutions. To meet those obligations, senior management must make sure that they fully understand the legislation itself.

What Is The Role of The Compliance Officer?

The compliance officer follows the regulations concerning the company. They are the most effective people in protecting the company from financial crimes. A compliance officer is responsible for controlling everyone involved with the company. It is obliged to provide evidence during the audit. Compliance officers use compliance software such as Sanction Scanner when checking. A principal should be appointed to oversee the development and application of their institution's program. 

What Should You Know About BSA Compliance Program?

Currency Transaction Reports (CTR): TheCTR is a report prepared by US financial institutions on all transactions involving money equal to or greater than $10,000.

Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR): If companies believe that a customer's behavior is suspicious, they must prepare this report and submit it to the necessary institutions. Institutions responsible for filing SAR include financial institutions such as banks, credit unions, or money services.

Foreign Bank and Financial Account Report (FBAR): The annual filing request for persons holding accounts equal to or more than $ 10,000 in foreign banks is called FBAR.

Why Is The Bank Secrecy Act Compliance Important?

The Bank Secrecy Act demands financial institutions to maintain detailed records of all transactions file reports regarding all transactions, currency exchanges, and certain monetary instruments' transportation of more than $10,000. Those requirements were intended to increase the difficulty of engaging successfully in money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Individuals and financial institutions that fail to satisfy BSA requirements can face severe penalties that include up to tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. For more severe offenses, prison sentences can go up to five years to 20 years.

Sanction Scanner Solutions to Comply with BSA 

It might be challenging to comply with AML regulations for companies. Sanction Scanner offers two solutions strengthened with APIs that make all processes easier, faster and more sustainable. 

AML Name Screening 

Scan customers in over 3000 Global Sanction Lists, PEPs List and Adverse Media, updated in 15 minutes. 

AML Transaction Monitoring 

Monitor transactions in real-time to detect, stop and investigate suspicious transactions. 

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