Confidentiality of Suspicious Activity Reports
The OTS is issuing this final rule to amend its regulations implementing the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) governing the confidentiality of a suspicious activity report (SAR) to: Clarify the scope of the statutory prohibition on the disclosure by a financial institution of a SAR, as it applies to savings associations and service corporations; address the statutory prohibition on the disclosure by the government of a SAR, as that prohibition applies to the OTS's standards governing the disclosure of SARs; clarify that the exclusive standard applicable to the disclosure of a SAR, or any information that would reveal the existence of a SAR, by the OTS is to fulfill official duties consistent with the purposes of the BSA; and modify the safe harbor provision in the OTS's SAR rules to include changes made by the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act. These amendments are consistent with a final rule being contemporaneously issued by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
Standards Governing the Release of a Suspicious Activity Report
The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) is revising its regulations governing the release of unpublished OTS information. The primary change clarifies that the OTS's decision to release a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) is governed by the standards set forth in amendments to the OTS's SAR regulation that are part of a separate, but simultaneous, rulemaking.