BSA Compliance: Third-Party 314(a) Searches

Do you rely on a third party or your core processing vendor to conduct your 314(a) searches?

If yes, are you logging into FinCEN’s Secure Information Sharing System (SISS) and downloading each 314(a) list so the third party/core processor can run it against your customer records?

Find all your BSA Resources HERE!

BSA Compliance: Third-Party 314(a) Searches

If you rely on a third-party/core processor to download the 314(a) lists on your behalf, you likely have a problem. While you can rely on them to run the searches against your customer records, each individual bank MUST still have a 314(a) contact person, and each bank/contact MUST log into FinCEN’s SISS themselves in order to download the 314(a) lists.

The issue is not necessarily that banks could receive different 314(a) lists.  FinCEN confirmed that the same list is generally provided to all banks.  The only time a list “may” differ is IF there’s a targeted, special list that pertains to a specific area. That said, we are not aware of any such targeted lists.

This issue is that you cannot allow a third party to download the lists that it receives from FinCEN, on your behalf. EACH bank MUST log in and download their own 314(a) lists. We don’t see a lot of issues with this but It might be a good idea to verify that you have a contact person in your bank, that they are receiving the communications from FinCEN and THEY are logging in to download the 314(a) lists.


Tailored BSA Training

Training is one of the most important aspects of your BSA/AML program.  The Bank Secrecy Act requires you to conduct training for all personnel including your Board of Directors.  The key to effective BSA training is to keep things fresh and interesting, as well as, relevant to their specific duties.  Without proper training no matter how good your policies and procedures are, they really don’t mean a whole lot if your people don’t understand what they’re supposed to be doing and/or what they’re supposed to be looking for.

Kevin explains more in the video


BSA Compliance: Helpful Resources

Information to help with BSA compliance

Complying with the Bank Secrecy Act is constantly evolving and changing.  The bad guys always come up with new ways to lie, cheat and you are charged with the important task of mitigating risk, as well as detecting, preventing, and reporting suspicious activity.  Some of the more recent areas of BSA focus have been fraud/scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., unemployment, health insurance, PPP, vaccines, etc.), cannabis law (marijuana, hemp, etc.), human trafficking, and more.

BSA Compliance: Helpful Resources

Other resources you may find helpful are:

The Bank Secrecy Act Regulation – 31 CFR Chapter X

FFIEC’s BSA/AML Examination Manual

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)  

Your Federal Regulator’s website:

FDIC / OCC / Federal Reserve / NCUA


BSA/AML Exam Manual Revisions

BSA/AML Exam Manual Revisions

On February 25, 2021, the FFIEC announced revisions to the BSA/AML Examination Manual. 

Specifically, the FFIEC added a new introduction in the “Assessing Compliance with BSA Regulatory Requirements” section and made revisions to three additional sections:

1) Customer Identification Program;

2) Currency Transaction Reporting; and

3) Transactions of Exempt Persons

It’s important to remember this manual serves as a guide for examiners when determining whether an institution’s BSA/AML compliance program is adequate. If you want to know what the examiners will be looking at during your next BSA/AML exam, this is where you want to look for guidance.

These new and revised sections do not impose any new requirements, but they do offer further transparency into the examination process and support risk-focused examination work. All of the revisions are identified by a 2021 date on the FFIEC BSA/AML InfoBase

Be sure to check out our monthly magazine, Banking on BCC, as we plan to take a closer look at these revisions in an upcoming issue.


BSA/AML & Cannabis

On February 18th, we hosted a webinar on “BSA/AML and Cannabis”.  This webinar looked at the differences between marijuana, hemp, CBD, etc., and how they impact your BSA/AML Program.  As more and more states legalize marijuana, it’s likely going to impact your institution at some point, if it hasn’t already.  This webinar also dives into recent guidance, as well as risk assessments and customer due diligence expectations.  One delighted customer said:

            The best MRB, HRB and CRB webinar I have seen, and I’ve seen many!

Listen to Kevin explain more in this clip from the webinar.

Find all your BSA Resources HERE!