Q: Under what circumstances should the transactions of a legal entity customer and those of the beneficial owner(s) be aggregated for purposes of filing a CTR? Are financial institutions required to proactively cross-check beneficial ownership information to comply with the CTR aggregation requirement?
A: As a general matter, financial institutions are required to aggregate multiple currency transactions “if the financial institution has knowledge that [the multiple transactions] are by or on behalf of any person and result in either cash in or cash out totaling more than $10,000 during any one business day.” With respect to legal entity customers that may share a common owner, unless there is an affirmative reason to believe otherwise, covered financial institutions should presume that different businesses that share a common owner are operating separately and independently from each other and from the common owner. Thus, absent indications that the businesses are not operating independently (e.g., the businesses are staffed by the same employees and are located at the same address, the accounts of one business are repeatedly used to pay the expenses of another business or of the common owner), financial institutions should not aggregate transactions involving those businesses with those of each other or with those of the common owner for CTR filing.
The above FAQ was included in FinCEN’s 2nd set of CDD FAQs that were released in April 2018. The FAQs are provided to assist financial institution in understanding the scope of the customer due diligence / beneficial ownership rule. The 2018 FAQs may be found here: