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Suspicious Activity Report Statistics (SAR Stats) FAQ/Glossary

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General Note:

Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) statistics generated by this tool solely reflect the data submitted on FinCEN Form 111. Use of this form for FinCEN SARs was voluntary during the period of March 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013 and mandatory starting on April 1, 2013. FinCEN Form 111 has replaced the individual legacy SAR types formerly filed on TD F 90-22.47 (Depository Institutions), FinCEN Form 109 (Money Services Business), FinCEN Form 102 (Casinos & Card Clubs), and FinCEN Form 101 (Securities & Futures Industries). The statistics are based on the Bank Secrecy Act Identification Number of each record within the SAR system. The Bank Secrecy Act Identification Number is a unique number assigned to each SAR submitted. Statistical data for SARs are updated as information is processed and refreshed data is periodically made available for this tool. For this reason, there may be discrepancies between the statistical figures returned from queries performed at different times. In addition, slight differences in query criteria may return different statistical results. Also note that the statistics generated by this tool do not include SAR fields that contain unknown or blank data. To the extent statistics including blank or unknown data are tabulated outside of this tool for other purposes, there may be discrepancies between statistics generated by this tool and those generated through other means. FinCEN makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the statistical figures provided from this tool and expressly disclaims liability for errors, omissions, or discrepancies in the statistical figures.


Industry Type - The Industry Type is located in two sections of the FinCEN SAR: Part III (Information About Financial institution Where Activity Occurred) and Part IV (Filing Institution Contact Information). Industry Type data is derived from entries in fixed-fields in both sections indicating the Type of Financial Institution. Some data elements have a one-to-one correlation, while others may involve one-to-multiple associations. Depending on the query, the module will compute the Industry Type part of the equation from one of these two sections. For queries which include a location (States/Territories), Industry Type data is pulled from Part III. Queries involving all other search categories, or combinations thereof which do not include a location filter pull Industry Type data from Part IV. Important: Industry Type must be selected before query is enabled.

Year & Month - The Year and Month represent the date the report was e-filed (Batch and Discrete).

States/Territories - The geographic distributions of data generally reflect where the transaction activity occurred. FinCEN initially pulls data as entered in fixed-field 68 (State of branch or office where activity occurred) within Part III (Information about Financial Institution Where Activity Occurred) of FinCEN Form 111. If no entry was made in fixed-field 68, then the item entered in fixed-field 59 (Financial Institution's Permanent State Address) is counted accordingly. Absence of an entry in fixed-field 68 may reflect a financial transaction as having occurred at the firm's headquarters or permanent address rather than a branch or office location. In instances where both fields 59 and 68 are left empty or contain entries that do not apply, a designation of Unknown/Blank is given. Numeric discrepancies between the total number of filings and the combined number of filings of states and/or territories are a result of multiple locations listed on one or more Suspicious Activity Reports. Numeric SAR data for transaction activity locations involving an APO (Army/Air Post Office), DPO (Diplomatic Post Office), or FPO (Fleet Post Office) is made available under a consolidated group: APO/DPO/FPO.

County/Metro & Micro Area - Provides a more granular perspective of detail at the local rather than broader state level by breaking down summaries of SAR data by county/parish and both Metropolitan (Metro) and Micropolitan (Micro) Statistical Areas. County Data: Counties are defined by zip codes as provided by the filing institution indicating where the suspicious activity occurred. Note: Instances may exist where zip codes correspond to more than one county. Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Data: According to the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB): A metro area contains a core urban area of 50,000 or more population, and a micro area contains an urban core of at least 10,000 (but less than 50,000) population. Each metro or micro area consists of one or more counties and includes the counties containing the core urban area, as well as any adjacent counties that have a high degree of social and economic integration (as measured by commuting to work) with the urban core. Note: Certain Metropolitan and Micropolitan areas encompass more than one state/territory. Thus, data for multi-state metro/micro areas will be returned via queries of each of the states they are associated with (however, numbers will reflect only the state/territory through which they have been pulled). Important: A State/Territory must be designated before County/MSA can be queried.

Suspicious Activity Category/Type - Filers have the ability to select multiple suspicious activities (as applicable) on the reports they submit and many SARs often reflect more than one type of activity. All options checked in fixed-fields 29(a) through 38(z), within Part II (Suspicious Activity Information) of FinCEN Form 111, are individually counted and then aggregated for that type of suspicious activity. For example, an institution electronically files two SARs, one citing Check Fraud (31c) as the suspicious activity and the other listing Check Fraud (31c) and Identity Theft (35g). These would be tabulated as two (2) instances of Check Fraud and one (1) instance of Identity Theft (not one instance of Check Fraud and one instance of Check Fraud & Identity Theft). Moreover, as multiple activities may be reported by a filer, the total number of overall suspicious activities is greater than the total number of filings received.

Instrument Type(s)/Payment Mechanism(s) - Reflects the instrument type(s) and/or payment mechanism(s) used in the suspicious activity as captured in Part II (Suspicious Activity Information), fixed-field 40. Filers have the ability to select multiple instrument types or payment mechanisms as applicable.

Product Type(s) - Reflects the product type(s) involved in the suspicious activity as captured in Part II (Suspicious Activity Information), fixed-field 39. Filers have the ability to select multiple product types as applicable.

Relationship - Reflects the relationship of the subject to an institution listed in Part III (Information about Financial Institution Where Activity Occurred) or PART IV (Filing Institution Contact Information), as captured in Part I (Subject Information), fixed-field 21. Filers have the ability to select multiple relationships as applicable.

Regulator - Reflects the listed Primary Federal Regulator or BSA Examiner of the financial institution recorded in Part IV (Filing Institution Contact Information), fixed-field 78 (Primary Federal Regulator).
Industry Type
Year & Month
Suspicious Activity Category / Type
States / Territories
County / Metro & Micro Area
Instrument Type(s) / Payment Mechanism(s)
Product Type
Year&Month State County Industry Suspicious Activity Regulator Relationship Product Instrument Filing Count
Data last updated on 3/31/2018
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