News Release 2022-23 | March 16, 2022

OCC Issues Final Rule Addressing Authority for Exemptions to Suspicious Activity Report Requirements

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today issued a final rule amending the OCC’s suspicious activity report (SAR) regulations.

The rule clarifies the OCC’s authority to issue exemptions from the requirements of those regulations based on a request from a national bank or federal savings association, including federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. The rule provides that, for any SAR regulation exemption request, the OCC will consider criteria specified in the final rule, including consistency with the purposes of the Bank Secrecy Act and safe and sound banking. The final rule adopts, with changes in response to public comments, the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on January 22, 2021. The final rule takes effect on May 1, 2022.

For exemption requests from the OCC’s SAR regulation that also would require an exemption from the SAR requirements established by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a national bank or federal savings association would need to seek an exemption from both the OCC and FinCEN. The OCC intends to coordinate with FinCEN on any such request.

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