Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
When the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 was enacted, the act’s Section 314(a) became a critical tool for investigating persons suspected of terrorism and/or money laundering. With the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as the conduit, 314(a) enables law enforcement to solicit information from financial institutions related to such investigations through what is known as the FinCEN 314 list.
The highly confidential and involved FinCEN compliance process depends upon the cooperation of three critical groups:
- Federal, state, local and foreign law enforcement agencies send FinCEN their requests for information regarding subjects suspected of terrorism or money laundering.
- FinCEN reviews these requests and every two weeks sends its FinCEN list via a secure internet site to financial institutions across the country.
- Financial institutions must promptly search their entire customer database for any accounts maintained within the last 12 months and any transactions conducted within the last 6 months by named subjects on the FinCEN list.
The goal of Section 314(a) is to facilitate information sharing to further enhance law enforcement’s ability to fight terrorism and money laundering. Therefore financial institutions have a very limited time within which to complete these mandatory searches and report any matches back to FinCEN.
Find out how to handle your FinCEN requests in a more cost- and time-efficient way.