Support of Law Enforcement

Requests to FinCEN

Law Enforcement agencies that do not have direct access to Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) data may make requests for BSA information and complex analytical support to their investigations.

Analytical Support to Law Enforcement/Intelligence

FinCEN, through the Office of Law Enforcement Support (OLE), provides specialized analysis of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and other records in support of law enforcement and intelligence efforts to deter, identify and investigate crimes including terrorism financing, money laundering, and other significant national security or financial crimes. The office also has oversight of FinCEN's support for the High Intensity Financial Crimes Area (HIFCA) program and personnel assigned to the HIFCA locations. More information is available within the OLE Pamphlet of Products and Services.

Strategic Analysis

FinCEN also provides strategic analytic support to law enforcement through identification of trends, patterns, and issues associated with money laundering and other financial crimes. BSA information filed by the nation's financial industries forms the heart of FinCEN's strategic analysis knowledge base. Strategic analysis products are intended to assist partners in the improvement of money laundering prevention and detection programs while providing support for the enforcement of anti-money laundering laws and regulations.

314(a) Requests

FinCEN's regulations under Section 314(a) enable Federal, State, local, and foreign (European Union) law enforcement agencies, through FinCEN, to reach out to financial institutions to locate accounts and transactions of persons that may be involved in terrorism or significant money laundering.

Reference Manuals and Networking Bulletins

FinCEN also provides a wide array of support, including training and materials, to the law enforcement community in educating them on the operations of financial mechanisms susceptible to financial crimes.

Direct Access to Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Data

Federal, State and Local law enforcement agencies can access the Bank Secrecy Act data through a secure web connection after their agency has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with FinCEN. FinCEN provides training, and monitors use to ensure that the BSA information is properly used, disseminated, and kept secure.

FinCEN also uses a "platform" approach to support law enforcement needs. The Platform offers on-site access at FinCEN to employees from other federal agencies that need to conduct research on cases under investigation by those agencies.

Access to Global Network of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs)

As the FIU for the United States, FinCEN is part of a global network of more than 100 FIUs, known as the Egmont Group. Through this network, FinCEN can facilitate information exchange on law enforcement investigations that have an international component.

  • These FIUs were created to collect information on suspicious or unusual financial activity, to analyze that data, and to make it available to appropriate authorities.
  • Law Enforcement agencies can submit requests to FinCEN for information from its global partners that can significantly expand their knowledge of financial activities and reduce delays often associated with international investigative efforts.
  • FinCEN's staff has developed in-depth knowledge of FIU partner countries, and established relationships with FIU personnel that can be shared/utilized to enhance investigative efforts.