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Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)

The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), which is also known as the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act and often referred to jointly has the BSA/AML is the US law that requires all financial institutions to have procedures in place to detect, deter, prevent and disrupt money laundering activity and terrorist financing networks. 


All US financial institutions must have an Anti-Money Laundering and Customer Identification Program (CIP) in place to comply with the BSA. This involves identifying and verifying all customers, screening them against lists of known and suspected money launderers, fraudsters, and terrorists, as well as screening against PEP, RCA, and SIP lists to ascertain their risk of bribery and corruption. Anything suspicious must be reported to the authorities, records of all checks must be kept as part of the CIP, and all customers must be monitored regularly for the financial institution to remain compliant under the BSA.


The BSA also requires financial institutions to have a system of internal controls in place to assure ongoing compliance including a designated individual responsible for coordinating and monitoring day-to-day compliance and providing AML compliance training for all appropriate personnel. All financial institutions must file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) if they detect any known or suspected transactions related to a money laundering activity, or any violation of the BSA/AML.

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