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January 20, 2005
USA PATRIOT Act Section 314(a) Web-based Delivery and Reporting System
Under Section 314(a) of the USA PATRIOT Act, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) sends a bi-weekly information request to FCMs (and other financial institutions under the Bank Secrecy Act) listing individuals, entities or organizations that are suspected of engaging in money laundering or terrorist financing. FinCEN sends these information requests via e-mail to individual(s) identified by the firm as the point of contact (POC) for this information. FCMs are required to search their records and inform FinCEN if they have any matches to the subjects identified on the lists.
FinCEN has begun implementing a Web-based delivery and reporting system for its 314(a) information requests that will replace the e-mail delivery system currently being used. This Web-based system is expected to become mandatory in March 2005. Under the new system, FinCEN will establish a secure Web site that will contain the current 314(a) subject lists. POCs will be responsible for accessing the Web site, downloading the information in the preferred file format (e.g., text delimited, MS Word, MS Excel, etc.) and conducting the required searches. POCs will also use the Web site to report positive and inconclusive hits to FinCEN.
FinCEN is currently conducting a voluntary pilot program for the system. FinCEN may contact you to participate in the pilot. Although participation is voluntary, it will give you an opportunity to become familiar with the system before it becomes mandatory.
Beginning with the February 2005 distributions, FinCEN will conduct "parallel processing." FinCEN will send all POCs an e-mail containing both the 314(a) subject list attachment and the Internet address (URL) for the secure Web site that will also contain the 314(a) subject lists. At that time, POCs will be given instructions on registering in order to obtain access to the new system. POCs that have been participating in the pilot program will not have to re-register. Other firms should register at this time. During the parallel processing phase, firms will be asked to search their records one time, but to report positive and inconclusive results both through return e-mail and the Web site report.
For the March 1, 2005 distribution, FinCEN intends to discontinue the 314(a) e-mail attachments. Instead, FinCEN will send an e-mail that provides the URL and notifies POCs that the subject lists have been posted to the secure Web site. FCMs will be required to access the Web site to obtain the lists and conduct the searches in the required time frames. FinCEN will continue to send the notification e-mail on a bi-weekly basis. Each subject list will be available for a four-week period.
All POCs must register on FinCEN's 314(a) Web page to receive a password and obtain access to the 314(a) lists. Since FinCEN will cease sending the subject list by e-mail, firms will need access to the Web site in order to meet their obligations under Section 314(a). In order for the registration process to be completed, the POC's e-mail address must be an exact match to the POC's e-mail address on record with FinCEN.
If you do not receive information from FinCEN concerning the new Web-based delivery and reporting system during the month of February, you should promptly contact FinCEN to obtain access to the Web site and register. You may contact FinCEN as follows:
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
Telephone: FinCEN Regulatory Help Line at 1-800-949-2732
Since your failure to receive this information from FinCEN may indicate that FinCEN does not have your firm's current POC information, you should also notify NFA that you did not receive this information so that your POC information can be verified.
FinCEN will continue to maintain the e-mail distribution list in order to send the bi-weekly notification that the lists have been posted. FinCEN will also use the e-mail distribution list to provide any additional information and instructions to the POCs. As a result, you must continue to provide NFA with any changes to your POC information. These changes should be sent to AML@nfa.futures.org.
If you have any questions on these requirements, please contact Carol Wooding, Assistant General Counsel at 312-781-1409 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Sharon Pendleton, Associate Director, Compliance at 312-658-6540 or email@example.com.