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October 13, 2009
CONTACT: Steve Hudak

FinCEN Releases Report on Outreach to
Large Depository Institutions
Four Key Findings Attributed to Dialogue with Industry

VIENNA, Va. - In a speech today at a conference of financial and legal professionals jointly sponsored by the American Bankers Association and the American Bar Association, James H. Freis, Jr., Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced the findings of a report - Financial Institutions Outreach Initiative - that lays out valuable information about Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) practices and procedures among large depository institutions. The report is based on information garnered from FinCEN's outreach to large depository institutions conducted over the past year.

"The Financial Institutions Outreach Initiative contributes to FinCEN's broader understanding of financial industry practices in applying the BSA and provides new insights into what information institutions need to more effectively implement their anti-money laundering programs," said Director Freis. "As a result of this dialogue, law enforcement investigators and regulators will receive increasingly better information to act against financial crime and illicit activities."

In January 2008, in an effort to better inform its regulatory rulemaking and guidance responsibilities, FinCEN initiated an outreach effort with representatives from a variety of industries that fall under BSA regulatory requirements. This year, FinCEN has been conducting similar outreach to some of the nation's largest money services businesses, and it has just announced a new outreach initiative with smaller depository institutions. Going forward, FinCEN will conduct additional initiatives with other industry groups.

Among the key findings released in today's report:

FinCEN also detailed in the report a number of steps it has taken to provide greater clarity in guidance in response to questions raised by depository institutions. The complete report, Financial Institutions Outreach Initiative, is available at


FinCEN's mission is to enhance U.S. national security, deter and detect criminal activity, and safeguard financial systems from abuse by promoting transparency in the U.S. and international financial systems.