The Bank Secrecy Act | (2023)

The Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act of 1970—which legislative framework is commonly referred to as the "Bank Secrecy Act" (BSA)—requires U.S. financial institutions to assist U.S. government agencies to detect and prevent money laundering. Specifically, the act requires financial institutions to keep records of cash purchases of negotiable instruments, file reports of cash transactions exceeding $10,000 (daily aggregate amount), and to report suspicious activity that might signify money laundering, tax evasion, or other criminal activities. It was passed by the Congress of the United States in 1970. The BSA is sometimes referred to as an "anti-money laundering" (AML) law or jointly as “BSA/AML." Several acts, including provisions in Title III of the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, and the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020, have been enacted up to the present to amend the BSA. (See 12 USC 1829b, 12 USC 1951-19600, 31 USC 5311-5314, 5316-5336, and 31 CFR Chapter X [formerly 31 CFR Part 103].)

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BSA Statute

12 U.S.C. 1829b - Retention of records by insured depository institutions

12 U.S.C. 1951 - Congressional findings and declaration of purpose
12 U.S.C. 1952 - Reports on ownership and control
12 U.S.C. 1953 - Recordkeeping and procedures
12 U.S.C. 1954 - Injunctions
12 U.S.C. 1955 - Civil penalties
12 U.S.C. 1956 - Criminal penalty
12 U.S.C. 1957 - Additional criminal penalty in certain cases
12 U.S.C. 1958 - Compliance
12 U.S.C. 1959 - Administrative procedure
12 U.S.C. 1960 - Safe harbor with respect to keep open directives

31 U.S.C. 5311 - Declaration of purpose
31 U.S.C. 5312 - Definitions and application
31 U.S.C. 5313 - Reports on domestic coins and currency transactions
31 U.S.C. 5314 - Records and reports on foreign financial agency transactions

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31 U.S.C. 5316 - Reports on exporting and importing monetary instruments
31 U.S.C. 5317 - Search and forfeiture of monetary instruments
31 U.S.C. 5318 - Compliance, exemptions, and summons authority
31 U.S.C. 5318A - Special measures for jurisdictions, financial institutions, international transactions, or types of accounts of primary money laundering concern
31 U.S.C. 5319 - Availability of reports
31 U.S.C. 5320 - Injunctions
31 U.S.C. 5321 - Civil penalties
31 U.S.C. 5322 - Criminal penalties
31 U.S.C. 5323 - Whistleblower incentives and protections
31 U.S.C. 5324 - Structuring transactions to evade reporting requirement prohibited
31 U.S.C. 5325 - Identification required to purchase certain monetary instruments
31 U.S.C. 5326 - Records of certain domestic transactions

[31 U.S.C. 5327 and 5328 have been repealed. Section 5327, relating to financial institutions reporting on customers, was repealed in 1996. Section 5328, relating to protections for whistleblowers, was repealed by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.]

31 U.S.C. 5329 - Staff commentaries
31 U.S.C. 5330 - Registration of money transmitting businesses
31 U.S.C. 5331 - Reports relating to coins and currency received in nonfinancial trade or business
31 U.S.C. 5332 - Bulk cash smuggling into or out of the United States
31 U.S.C. 5333 - Safe harbor with respect to keep open directives
31 U.S.C. 5334 - Training regarding anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism
31 U.S.C. 5335 - Prohibition on concealment of the source of assets in monetary transactions
31 U.S.C. 5336 - Beneficial ownership information reporting requirements

(Video) When Bank Secrecy Still Works

Codified BSA Regulations

On March 1, 2011, FinCEN transferred its regulations from 31 CFR Part 103 to 31 CFR Chapter X as part of an ongoing effort to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its regulatory oversight.

The Federal Register

TheFederal Registercontains final regulations issued after the date of codification, as well as Notices of Proposed Rulemaking. Notices that FinCEN has submitted to the Federal Register are located here.

Federal Crime of Money Laundering - Title 18, U.S. Code, Crimes and Criminal Procedure

(Video) Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)

Federal Crime of Operating an Unlicensed or Unregistered Money Transmitting Business - Title 18 U.S. Code, Crimes and Criminal Procedure

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