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Subject: FinCEN's Web-based 314(a) Distribution System
Date: January 14, 2005
FinCEN's Web-based 314(a) Distribution System
To: Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks and All Federal Branches of Foreign Banks; All State Banking Authorities; Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Conference of State Bank Supervisors; Deputy Comptrollers (districts); Assistant Deputy Comptrollers; District Counsel and Examining Personnel
Pursuant to section 314(a) of the USA PATRIOT Act, the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) developed and implemented an electronic system for law enforcement to request information about suspected terrorists and money launderers from financial institutions. Every two weeks, FinCEN has been distributing a 314(a) subject list by e-mail to financial institution points of contact (POC) for this purpose. FinCEN compiled its 314(a) e-mail distribution list from POC information contained in your institution’s FFIEC Report of Condition and Income (call report). See OCC Alert 2004-6, dated March 2, 2004.
The purpose of this alert is to inform national banks and federal branches that FinCEN plans to introduce a new, Web-based section 314(a) delivery and reporting system during the month of February that should be fully operational by March 1, 2005. Under this new system, FinCEN will no longer send 314(a) subject lists by e-mail attachments. Instead, the 314(a) subject lists will be available on a secure Web site operated by FinCEN. POCs will go to the Web site (URL) on the Internet where they will be able to locate the current 314(a) subject lists and download the files in various formats for searching (i.e., tab delineated, MS Word, MS Excel, etc.). POCs will also be able to use this Internet site to return positive and inconclusive hits to FinCEN. Those financial institutions that currently receive the 314(a) subject lists by facsimile will continue to receive them by facsimile.
FinCEN is currently in the process of testing this Web-based system through a pilot program. FinCEN will send to randomly selected POCs an e-mail requesting their participation in the pilot. POCs are not required to participate in the pilot program, but participation is encouraged, as it will provide POCs with an opportunity to become familiarized with basic system navigation before it becomes mandatory. Additional information from FinCEN concerning the pilot program is attached.
For the February 2005 distributions, FinCEN will conduct “parallel processing” and will send the 314(a) subject lists as e-mail attachments as usual, and will also provide the Internet address (URL) for the secure Web site along with an invitation for all POCs to register to obtain access to the new system. Upon receipt of this invitation, all POCs should promptly register to obtain access to the new system. Those POCs that have been participating in the pilot will already be registered and will not need to register again in February.
Beginning on March 1, 2005, FinCEN will no longer distribute the 314(a) subject lists as e-mail attachments. Instead, the 314(a) subject lists will be posted to the secure Web site every two weeks and financial institutions will be required to access the Web site to obtain the lists and conduct the searches within required time frames.
New 314(a) subject lists will be posted on the Web site by transmission date every two weeks and will remain posted for a four-week period. The two most recent 314(a) transmission dates will be available for download on the Web site at any given time. Once a 314(a) transmission is replaced, it will no longer be retrievable.
FinCEN will continue to send biweekly e-mails to the POCs. However, the biweekly e-mails will simply notify users that new 314(a) subject lists have been posted to the secure Web site and will no longer contain the 314(a) subject list attachments. As a result, the current e-mail distribution process will continue to be used and maintained by FinCEN, and changes and updates to your institution’s 314(a) POC information will continue to be required.
The process for making changes to your institution’s POC information and emergency contact information has not changed. Changes and updates to your institution’s POC and emergency contact information should continue to be made by simply: (1) amending page three of your bank’s call report and filing the amended call report with the FDIC, (2) amending page two of your federal branch’s call report and filing the amended Call Report with the appropriate Federal Reserve Bank, or (3) filing your quarterly call report by the usual due date with the change reflected on page two or three. Such changes and updates would include contact changes, phone or fax number changes, and e-mail address changes. Sample call report forms are available on the FFIEC’s Web site (www.ffiec.gov), and the following link on the FDIC’s Web site contains a significant amount of helpful call report information. (www.fdic.gov/about/contact/ask/contactinformation.html#CallReports).
If you do not receive information from FinCEN concerning the new Web-based delivery and reporting system during the month of February, you should promptly contact FinCEN to obtain access to the Web site and register. Contact information for FinCEN is as follows:
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
Be sure to include your institution’s name, address, charter number, phone number, and contact information on all written correspondence to FinCEN.
Please direct any other inquiries concerning section 314(a) of the USA PATRIOT Act to Jim Vivenzio, special assistant to the deputy chief counsels by phone at (202) 874-5200.
Daniel P. Stipano