FinCEN Broadens Scope of Web-Based PATRIOT Act Reporting System
WASHINGTON-The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is shifting a small pilot program initiated for information sharing between financial institutions and law enforcement into full-scale practice. FinCEN is expanding the number of institutions it is inviting to participate in the gradual adaptation of a more tech-savvy delivery and reporting system in February for compliance with Section 314(a) of the USA PATRIOT Act. Section 314(a) mandates regulations encouraging information sharing between financial institutions and the federal government through the exchange of information regarding individuals, entities, and organizations engaged in or reasonably suspected of engaging in terrorist acts or money laundering activities. Under the new system, attachments will not be sent via e-mail to the designated points of contact, but FinCEN will e-mail a secure Web page linking to the required lists in various formats, including tab delimited, MS Word, and MS Excel. The Web site can also be used to return positive and inconclusive hits to FinCEN. FinCEN initially tested the system with 250 financial institutions and gradually increased that number to 30,000 last week. Questions and problems should be reported at (800) 949-2732.