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Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Law Enforcement Tools & Resources

In addition to utilizing information filed by banks in money laundering and terrorist financing investigations, U.S. law enforcement also provides banks with access to resources and tools such as those listed that can be used to strengthen BSA/AML risk management programs.

  • High Risk Money Laundering and Related Financial Crimes Areas (HIFCAs) - are a means of concentrating law enforcement efforts at the federal, state, and local levels in high intensity money laundering zones. HIFCAs may be defined geographically or they can also be created to address money laundering in an industry sector, a financial institution, or group of financial institutions. See s list of designated HIFCAs.
  • High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs) - are designated by the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, in consultation with the Attorney General, Secretary of Treasury, heads of drug-control agencies, and respective governors. HIDTA regions are comprised of specific designated counties, based on the drug threat facing that area. See a list of designated HIDTAs.
  • International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) - is a two-volume country-by-country report describing the efforts to attack all aspects of the international drug trade, chemical control, money laundering and financial crimes.
  • Institutions of Primary Money Laundering Concerns - authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to designate a foreign jurisdiction, institution, class of transaction, or type of account as being of "primary money-laundering concern," and to impose one or more of five "special measures." See a listing of current or proposed designations.
  • National Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risk Assessments - The National Money Laundering Risk Assessment (NMLRA) (PDF) identifies the money laundering risks that are of priority concern to the United States. The purpose of the NMLRA is to explain the money laundering methods used in the United States, the safeguards in place to address the threats and vulnerabilities that create money laundering opportunities, and the residual risk to the financial system and national security. The terminology and methodology of the NMLRA is based on the guidance of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international standard-setting body for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing safeguards. The underlying concepts for the risk assessment are threats (the predicate crimes associated with money laundering), vulnerabilities (the opportunities that facilitate money laundering), consequence (the impact of a vulnerability), and risk (the synthesis of threat, vulnerability and consequence).

    The National Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment (NTFRA) (PDF) identifies the terrorist financing (TF) risks that are of priority concern to the United States. The purpose of the National TF Risk Assessment is to identify and understand the TF threats and vulnerabilities in the United States, assess current efforts to combat these threats and vulnerabilities, and understand the remaining risk to the U.S. financial system and national security.

    The NTFRA complements the NMLRA in order to provide a similar depiction of the threat posed by TF. In particular, the assessment:
    • Examines methods used in TF-related federal prosecutions;
    • Draws from the work of the interagency Working Group on Combating Terrorist Financing, led by Treasury, which assesses threats, trends, and risks in the United States; and
    • Identifies priority residual TF risks.
  • Section 314(a) Information Requests - generally bi-weekly requests from FinCEN requiring financial institutions to search records for persons that may be involved in terrorism or money laundering. Requests are sent to points of contact (POCs) at financial institutions.
    • If your institution needs to change its POC, please file an amended Call Report with the updated information.
    • If your bank is having problems receiving the 314(a) list from FinCEN, please ensure that your POC information is correct on the Call Report and file an amended Call Report. Also, ensure that emails from FinCEN are not being blocked or restricted by your institution's software or firewalls. Get more information and learn how to change your point of contact for 314(a).
  • U.S. Money Laundering Threat Assessment (MLTA) - The MLTA is the first government-wide analysis of money laundering. This report investigates money laundering vulnerabilities across a spectrum of techniques used by criminals. It offers a detailed analysis of thirteen money laundering methods, ranging from well-established techniques for integrating "dirty money" into the financial system to modern innovations and emerging industries.