ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING (AML)
FINRA Rule 3310 (Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Program) requires each member firm to develop and implement a written AML program (that must be approved, in writing, by a member of senior management) that is reasonably designed to achieve and monitor compliance with the requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act and the implementing regulations promulgated by the Department of the Treasury. The rule also sets forth, among other things, that the AML program provide ongoing training to appropriate personnel. Information and guidance relating to AML rules, regulations and compliance are available from a number of sources, such as the following:
AML Template for Small Firms
FINRA provides a template for small firms to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities to establish the AML compliance program required by the Bank Secrecy Act and its implementing regulations and FINRA Rule 3310. The template provides text examples, instructions, relevant rules and Web sites and other resources that are useful for developing an AML plan for a small firm.
FINRA also provides a three-part podcast series that guides firms through the process of setting up AML compliance and supervisory procedures.
• Anti-Money Laundering Template (Part 1)
Listen Now/Download | 11 min. 45 sec.
• Anti-Money Laundering Template (Part 2)
Listen Now/Download | 10 min. 35 sec.
• Anti-Money Laundering Template (Part 3)
Listen Now/Download | 10 min. 42 sec.
AML Source Tool for Broker-Dealers
The SEC maintains and periodically updates its AML Source Tool for Broker-Dealers, a compilation of key AML laws, rules, orders and guidance applicable to broker-dealers.
SAR Information Accessibility
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) regulations regarding the confidentiality of suspicious activity reports (SARs) require a broker-dealer to make SARs and supporting documentation available to any SRO that examines the broker-dealer for compliance with the requirements of 31 CFR 1023.320 (Reports by brokers or dealers in securities of suspicious transactions), also known as the “SAR Rule,” upon the request of the SEC. On January 26, 2012, the SEC issued a letter to FINRA authorizing FINRA staff to ask for SARs and SAR information from firms in certain circumstances. On the same date, SEC staff also issued a letter to chief executive officers of all SEC-registered FINRA firms requesting that they make SARs and supporting documentation available to FINRA.
• FINRA Regulatory Notice 12-08 (February 2012): SEC Requests Broker-Dealers Make SARs and SAR Information Available to FINRA
SAR Alert Message Line
The SEC SAR Alert Message Line phone number is 202-551-SARS (7277). This number should only be used when securities firms have filed a SAR that may require immediate attention by the Commission. Calling the SEC SAR Alert Message Line does not alleviate a firm's obligation to file a SAR or notify an appropriate law enforcement authority, such as a local office of either the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division or the FBI. General questions on SARs and other BSA filing requirements may be directed to FinCEN's Regulatory Helpline at 1-800-949-2732.