FinCEN: BSA Reporting Critical to Stopping Islamic State

The reports banks file under the Bank Secrecy Act are critical to cutting off the flow of funds to terrorists, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery said yesterday — including giving U.S. and foreign law enforcement and national security officials tools to disrupt the Islamic State terrorist group.

Speaking to a New York audience of bankers at foreign-headquartered banks with U.S. operations, Shasky Calvery outlined how BSA reporting helps stop IS. “Preliminary analysis of the reporting has revealed multiple transactions of note, including suspicious petroleum purchases and transfers involving companies suspected of fraudulent activity,” she said. “FinCEN’s preliminary analysis of the reporting has also revealed new foreign terrorist fighters and their networks.”

She added that FinCEN shares its analyses and intel from reports with U.S. and foreign government entities, noting that the information is put to good use. In 2014, she said, approximately 18 percent of FBI international terrorism cases had related BSA filings.