Q: Meeting BSA Filing Requirements. Do financial institutions with reduced staff have to meet the timeframes for processing reports related to BSA?
A: On March 16, 2020, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a press release encouraging financial institutions affected by COVID-19 to contact FinCEN and their functional regulators as soon as practicable if there were concerns about any potential delays in their ability to file required BSA reports. FinCEN’s Regulatory Support Section will continue to be available to support financial institutions for the duration of the COVID- 19 pandemic. Financial institutions supervised by the FDIC should contact their Regional Office to discuss any concerns with filing BSA reports.
On April 3, 2020, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a notice (FinCEN’s April 3rd Notice) that addressed BSA issues related to COVID-19.28 FinCEN’s April 3rd Notice addressed the timing of BSA filings given COVID-19 circumstances, as follows:
FinCEN has heard from certain financial institutions and trade associations for financial institutions about difficulties in meeting certain BSA obligations, including the timing requirements for certain BSA report filings. In response to concerns regarding certain timing requirements of BSA filings, FinCEN recognizes that certain regulatory timing requirements with regard to BSA filings may be challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic and that there may be some reasonable delays in compliance.
FinCEN will continue to assess reasonable risk-based approaches to BSA obligations and will issue further information, as appropriate.
In addition, FinCEN suspended the implementation of the February 6, 2020 ruling (FIN-2020-R001) on currency transaction report (CTR) filing obligations when reporting transactions involving sole proprietorships and entities operating under a “doing business as” (DBA) name (the “2020 Ruling”) until further notice. FinCEN’s April 3rd Notice stated that FinCEN will issue further information on these types of CTR filings at an appropriate time with reasonable implementation periods. Until such issuance, financial institutions should continue to report transactions involving sole proprietorships and DBAs under prior practice.
This Q&A was contained in the Frequently Asked Questions for Financial Institutions Affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Referred to as COVID-19) – As of March 3, 2021 (which may be updated from time to time). This may be found on the FDIC’s website here: https://www.fdic.gov/Coronavirus/faq-fi.pdf.