Definition

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury dedicated to safeguarding financial systems from abuse. FinCEN was established in 1990 to promote transparency in the U.S. and international financial systems. In 1994, FinCEN's responsibilities were broadened to include facilitation of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) of 1970 – the country's most comprehensive anti-money laundering (AML) legislation.

Under the regulations of the BSA, FinCEN requires financial institutions to record and report suspicious activity that might signify money laundering and fraud. FinCEN also acts as an intelligence liaison for law enforcement by coordinating information reported under the BSA with information from a variety of other public and governmental sources. Reports filed with FinCEN must follow the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) format.

This was last updated in April 2012

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