Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government


Financial Crimes Enforcement Network; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Suspicious Activity Report by the Securities and Futures Industry

AGENCY: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN"), Treasury.
ACTION: Notice and request for comments.
SUMMARY: FinCEN invites comment on a renewal without change of an information collection contained in the form, "Suspicious Activity Report by the Securities and Futures Industry (SAR-SF)." The form will be used by the securities and futures industry to report suspicious activity to the Department of the Treasury. This request for comments also covers 31 CFR 103.17 and 31 CFR 103.19. This request for comments is being made pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A).
DATES: Written comments are welcome and must be received on or before February 3, 2009.
ADDRESSES: Written comments should be submitted to: Regulatory Policy and Programs Division, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Department of the Treasury, P.O. Box 39, Vienna, Virginia 22183, Attention: PRA Comments--SAR-Securities and Futures Industry Form. Comments also may be submitted by electronic mail to the following Internet, again with a caption, in the body of the text, "Attention:PRA Comments--SAR-Securities and Futures Industry Form."

Inspection of comments. Comments may be inspected, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., in the FinCEN reading room in Vienna, VA. Persons wishing to inspect the comments submitted must request an appointment with the Disclosure Officer by telephoning (703) 905-5034 (not a toll free call).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The FinCEN Regulatory Helpline at 800-949-2732, select option 3.

Title:Suspicious Activity Report by the Securities and Futures Industry (SAR-SF), 31 CFR 103.17, and 31 CFR 103.19.

OMB Number:1506-0019.

Form Number:FinCEN Form 101.

Abstract:The statute generally referred to as the “Bank Secrecy Act,” Titles I and II of Public Law 91-508, as amended, codified at 12 U.S.C. 1829b, 12 U.S.C. 1951-1959, and 31 U.S.C. 5311-5332, authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury,inter alia, to require financial institutions to keep records and file reports that are determined to have a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax, and regulatory matters, or in the conduct of intelligence or counter-intelligence activities, to protect against international terrorism, and to implement counter-money laundering programs and compliance procedures.1 Regulations implementing Title II of the Bank Secrecy Act appear at 31 CFR Part 103. The authority of the Secretary to administer the Bank Secrecy Act has been delegated to the Director of FinCEN.

1Language expanding the scope of the Bank Secrecy Act to intelligence or counter-intelligence activities to protect against international terrorism was added by Section 358 of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (the “USA PATRIOT Act”), Public Law 107-56.

The Secretary of the Treasury was granted authority in 1992, with the enactment of 31 U.S.C. 5318(g), to require financial institutions to report suspicious transactions. On July 1, 2002, FinCEN issued a final rule requiring brokers or dealers in securities (“broker-dealers”) to report suspicious transactions (“Broker-Dealer SAR rule”), (67 FR 44048). The final Broker-Dealer SAR rule can also be found at 31 CFR 103.19. On August 5, 2002, FinCEN issued a final rule requiring futures commission merchants and introducing brokers in commodities to report suspicious transactions (“FCM SAR rule”), (67 FR 50751). The final FCM SAR rule can also be found at 31 CFR 103.17.

The information collected on the form is required to be provided pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 5318(g), 31 CFR 103.17 and 31CFR 103.19. This information will be made available, in accordance with strict safeguards, to appropriate criminal law enforcement and regulatory personnel, and to the registered securities associations and national securities exchanges (so-called self-regulatory organizations) for use in official performance of their duties, for regulatory purposes and in investigations and proceedings involving domestic and international money laundering, terrorist financing, tax violations, fraud, and other financial crimes.

Broker-dealers, futures commission merchants, and introducing brokers in commodities required to report suspicious transactions, or reporting such transactions voluntarily, will be subject to the protection from liability contained in 31 U.S.C. 5318(g)(3) and to the prohibition contained in 31 U.S.C. 5318(g)(2) against notifying any person involved in the transaction that a suspicious activity report has been filed.

The current SAR-SF may be reviewed at

Type of Review:Renewal without change of a currently approved information collection.

Affected public:Business or other for-profit institutions.

Frequency:As required.

Estimated Reporting Burden:Average of 60 minutes per response. (The reporting burden of the regulations (31 CFR 103.17 and 103.19) is reflected in the burden for the form.)

Estimated Recordkeeping Burdenfor 31 CFR 103.17 or 31 CFR 103.19: 2 hours.

Estimated number of respondents = 8,300.

Estimated Total Annual Responses = 15,500.

Estimated Total Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden: 46,500 hours.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a valid OMB control number. Records required to be retained under the Bank Secrecy Act must be retained for five years.

Request for Comments:

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected: (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance and purchase of services to provide information.

Dated: November 25, 2008. James H. Freis, Jr., Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.