OCC Proposes to Allow Exemptions from SAR Requirements

To help banks develop more efficient and effective Bank Secrecy Act compliance programs, the OCC has issued a proposal that would allow the agency to issue exemptions from Suspicious Activity Report requirements. Allowing the OCC to grant exemptions where it deems appropriate will help reduce regulatory burden on banks while encouraging innovation in BSA/AML compliance, the agency said. Comments on the proposal are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Under the proposal, national banks seeking an exemption must submit a request in writing to the OCC. In reviewing these requests, “the OCC would consider whether the exemption is consistent with safe and sound banking, and any other appropriate factors, such as any outstanding supervisory concerns related to BSA/AML, including informal and formal enforcement actions.” Institutions would also need to seek an exemption from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the OCC said.