GAO offers recommendations on FinCEN efficacy of financial crime reporting

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued four recommendations to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) within the Treasury Department as a means of enhancing reports focusing on finance industry related crimes.

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The Bank Secrecy Act requires financial institutions to report information to the federal government law enforcement can use to investigate potential crimes such as money laundering, but the GAO determined metrics were not consistently communicated.

As a means of addressing the circumstances, the GAO has issued such recommendations as encouraging the Director of FinCEN to consider prioritizing the inclusion of the primary SRO conducting BSA examinations in the futures industry in the Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group (BSAAG) on a more consistent basis and also making the primary futures industry association a concurrent member.

The GAO also said that the FinCEN Director should take steps to explore providing direct BSA data access to the National Futures Association, review options for FinCEN to more consistently and publicly provide summary data on the usefulness of BSA reporting, and review options for establishing a mechanism through which law enforcement agencies may provide regular and institution-specific feedback on BSA reporting.

The GAO said FinCEN concurred with the recommendation on summary data and agreed with the spirit of the recommendation on feedback. FinCEN did, however, raise concerns with the need for the two other recommendations.

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