VIENNA, Va. - The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced today the availability in Spanish of its educational pamphlet on the currency transaction reporting requirement. Earlier this year, FinCEN issued the brochure "Notice to Customers: A CTR Reference Guide" as a resource for financial institutions to help address questions frequently asked by their customers regarding the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requirement to report transactions in currency that exceed $10,000. In May 2009, FinCEN also released a similar CTR brochure specifically for use by casinos (CTR-Cs).
"Currency transaction reports provide unique and reliable information that is essential to supporting investigations and detecting criminal activities," said FinCEN Director James H. Freis, Jr. "We hope that financial institutions find this pamphlet useful for communicating with a wider range of customers the importance of compliance with the reporting requirement."
These pamphlets - created out of dialogue between industry, law enforcement, and regulatory bodies - use plain language to explain the reporting requirement to those who may not be familiar with a financial institution's obligations under the BSA. They explain that large currency transactions are not illegal, but that financial institutions are required to obtain information from their customers when these transactions occur, and that if a customer attempts to break up, or "structure," transactions in order to evade the CTR reporting requirement, there are potential civil and criminal consequences. Financial institutions are in no way required to use these pamphlets, nor do they alter a financial institution's BSA reporting requirements. While FinCEN encourages financial institutions to educate their employees on the proper use of the pamphlets, they are not intended as a replacement for employee training.
Financial institutions can download all three versions of the CTR pamphlet from FinCEN's Web site. In addition to the Spanish-language version of the CTR pamphlet, certain materials for money services businesses have been translated into seven different languages to make regulatory requirements more understandable and to promote compliance. All of these products are available at www.FinCEN.gov. Questions about the educational pamphlets, or other matters related to compliance with the BSA and its implementing regulations, may be directed to FinCEN's Regulatory Helpline at (800) 949-2732.