SAR Narrative Guidance Package

Issued Date
Guidance Subject
SAR Narrative Guidance Package

PowerPoint Presentation Downloading and Viewing Instructions

FinCEN, in consultation with the federal regulatory authorities, has issued a guidance package designed to assist financial institutions in the preparation of Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) forms and to improve the quality of information provided in SAR narratives. Law enforcement agencies rely on this information to assist in money laundering, terrorist financing, and financial crimes investigations.

The guidance package consists of three parts:
Part I: Guidance on Preparing a Complete and Sufficient Suspicious Activity Report Narrative

Provides financial institution filers with a recommended process of organizing and writing SAR narratives.
Part II: The Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) Form

A PowerPoint presentation providing general information about reporting requirements for the respective industries mandated to file SARs, as well as the subsequent use of those SARs.
Part III: Keys to Writing a Complete & Sufficient SAR Narrative

A PowerPoint presentation providing suggestions on how to enhance writing a SAR narrative.

Financial institution compliance officers, law enforcement officials and others may download the power point presentations to complement their existing Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering training programs. Since some slides in the PowerPoint presentation entitled “The Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) Form” may not be applicable for all types of institutions, slides can be hidden or deleted as needed. For example, depository institutions may choose to omit slides referencing money services businesses (MSBs), casino and card clubs, and securities and futures industries.

In order to view, download or print the presentations, you must have Microsoft PowerPoint software installed on your PC. If you do not currently have PowerPoint on your system (which is a standard program included with the Microsoft Office Professional software package), you should request installation from your in-house PC help desk staff or system administrator. For further information about PowerPoint, go to

To view the PowerPoint presentation, left mouse click on the document’s name (which appears as an Internet hyperlink). This action will automatically open the PowerPoint program, and you will then be able to view the slides contained in the presentation. At this point, you may also print out the entire presentation or individual slides.

If you prefer to download and save the document to your desktop (or another file folder), right mouse click on the document’s name. A box will appear with a variety of choices for saving, printing and copying. If your browser is Netscape Navigator, click on “Save Link As” to initiate the save process. In Internet Explorer, the text for the same procedure will be “Save Target As.” After clicking on one of these options, you will get a “Save As” pop-up window. Choose where you want to save the document (on your desktop or in another file folder), and click “Save.” Take careful note of where you save the presentation so you can find it easily later. Once the document is downloaded and saved to your PC, you can easily open it later for viewing, printing or editing.

Financial Institution